The British government intends to block the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040 as part of the fight against air pollution.
The United Kingdom announced last Wednesday (three weeks after France) its decision to cease the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040, as part of a new plan to fight air pollution. The UK Ministry for the Environment is aiming to reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide that primarily comes from cars and trucks.
UK under scrutiny from European Commission
Last February, the European Commission put five countries on alert due to the poor quality of their air, with the United Kingdom under scrutiny along with France and Germany.
Air pollution is a real public health problem – causing over 40,000 deaths in the UK every year according to an official press release, not to mention the spread of respiratory illnesses which primarily affect young people.
After this reprimand from the European Commission, and following a High Court injunction in London brought about by an environmental protection organisation, the British government announced its intention to take the necessary measures.
Multi-phase ecological plan
Last May, the Ministers for the Environment and for Transport jointly announced the first step in an ecological plan which will see "clean air zones" set up, where vehicles which do not respect a certain number of environmental criteria will be taxed.
The two ministers also intend for buses and heavy good vehicles to be fitted with the latest generation of catalytic exhausts, and for taxi engines to be replaced by ones which use LPG (liquid petroleum gas).
Lastly, there will be encouragement for people to buy electric vehicles in the form of financial incentives and targeted measures to get rid of older cars.
Drastic measures for London
Last April, the current mayor of London Sadiq Khan also announced drastic measures such as the creation of a new £10 (11.70 euro) tax on cars that were made before 2006, which will be applied to the centre of London from next October, and the implementation of an ultra-low emission zone (or ULEZ) by 2019.
Buses and taxis which run on diesel – a fuel that is particularly pollutant as it gives off three times as much nitrogen dioxide as petrol – are also set to be gradually taken out of circulation.
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