Aug. 23, 2016

Ban diesel cars in London, thinktank urges (eg. text-sample@theguardian.com)

IPPR analysis says capital will eventually need to phase out diesel cars and buses in order to meet EU air pollution targets.

Diesel vehicles must be banned from London if the UK is to meet its air pollution targets, a thinktank warned on Monday.

Cars, vans and buses using diesel fuel are the leading cause of air pollution in the capital, and although steps are being taken to discourage their use, through the congestion charge and clean air zones, this will not be enough to clear the air, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found in a new report.

The number of diesel vehicles on the capital’s streets has been increasing in recent years, according to research published earlier this year.

Any phase-out of the vehicles will be controversial, as many drivers bought diesel cars in the belief that they were better for the environment. Diesel engines produce less carbon dioxide than their petrol equivalents, but they also produce nitrogen oxides and small particles, which pollute the air and can cause breathing difficulties in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and the young, and people with existing respiratory conditions.

More than 9,000 premature deaths a year are caused by polluted air in the capital.

While applauding the measures announced in recent weeks by Sadiq Khan, the recently elected Labour mayor of London, IPPR said it was likely that much more drastic steps would need to be taken if the capital is to meet clean air regulations set out by the EU.

“London’s air is both lethal and illegal,” said Harry Quilter-Pinner, a researcher at IPPR. “This is a public health crisis and it should be ignored no longer. Only bold action will make the capital’s air safe to breathe again.”

He added: “[Our] analysis suggests Khan will ultimately need to phase out diesel cars and buses in order to reach a legal compliance.”

This would require the cooperation of the national government, as the mayor lacks the power to achieve this result alone. The report, entitled Lethal and Illegal, found that under the current air pollution regime, London would fail to meet its legal requirements on air quality until 2025 or later. It is the only area of the UK forecast to take so long to meet air quality standards.

Phasing out diesel vehicles from London’s street would “not be easy” but would “not be impossible”, the thinktank said. The report’s authors called for a new Clean Air Act to be passed by parliament, to counter the uncertainty over whether the UK will adhere to EU air quality regulations after Brexit.

Khan did not say whether he would seek to ban diesel vehicles altogether but stressed his intention to clean up the capital’s air. “Protecting Londoners from our toxic filthy air is an issue of life and death,” he said. “Rather than turn a blind eye to this growing health crisis, it is high time ministers faced up to their responsibilities.”

He said he was conducting a public consultation on air pollution, and urged people to make their views known.

The analysis was backed by Greenpeace and ClientEarth, the activist charity which has taken the government to court on the issue.

Alan Andrews, a lawyer for ClientEarth, said: “An ambitious and bold Clean Air Act is needed for the whole country. It should phase out diesel across the country and accelerate the shift to zero emission transport. This would help our cities clean up their air and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.”

Barbara Stoll, the senior campaigner at Greenpeace, added: “The writing’s on the wall for diesel. We need vital leadership from the government is phasing out diesel cars over the coming years. London can’t stand alone in this fight. We need urgent action from Theresa May and her new team to clean up the car industry, who’ve got away with polluting our streets for too long, and help people make the switch [away from diesel vehicles].”

See attached note:

(i) Cheap and clean - Australian company creates hydrogen with near-zero emissions.

(ii) USEPA Green Vehicle Guide - transportation down the road & federal climate data and reports.

(iii) "Transport is responsible for 32% of the overall CO2 emissions in the Emilia-Romagna region. A project called MHyBus funded by LIFE Programme (ClimateAction), showed that by using a mixture of hydro-methane could help reduce emissions (by 2526 tones) while saving money (419 per year, per vehicle)". 

  • ARENA backs "Project H2GO" – a trial that will inject renewable hydrogen into existing gas networks, for domestic use and storage.  

(iv) Reykjavík, the geothermal city that aims to go carbon neutral in less than 25 years and it includes public transport as well as walking, cycling and waste management initiatives and programs, is as a fact known as a key measure to achieving carbon neutrality. As the capital of Iceland, it has the  Deep Drilling Project which is tapping steam so hot and so pressurized, so its power potential is 10 times that of conventional geothermal wells.

(v) A courageous step to mitigate climate change, Germany votes to ban the Internal Combustion Engine.  Emissions-free passenger vehicles are on the way. Deal with it, auto lobby.#Prost2that #wow

(vi) South Korea will award Costa Rica three more fast-charging stations for electric vehicles, for the time being, CNFL inaugurated a second charging station in San Jose as a legislation initiative would also force state institutions to buy only electric vehicles from 2020. Meanwhile, "CRs-GAM red cabs are going electric" as the Congress approves a new law framework that exempts from the payment of taxes and fees among other policies to eMobility. More Q&As about the new "Electric Transportation Incentive Act" available here, enclosed also a reports findings on a promising renewable future for mobility aligned as the recent fast pace of the "first hydrogen bus that starts in Liberia, Guanacaste" were each load allows travelling 340 kilometres. 

No doubt for the actions taken that China will lead the charge, but it will be quite interesting from the Costa Rican side as a fact get to know the different lessons learned and holistic solutions from the California palestra by lead a systemic process in the global context, having as a possible goal to ban all fossil fueled vehicles after 2040! For now, in the final days of 2017 Shenzhen concluded an impressive transformation of its bus fleet: all 16,359 buses are now electric, the city’s 17,000 taxis are next (63% of them are already electric) and from such experiences know the reason why these technology are hurting the Oil Industry! #FormulaEChampionship

(vii) "Gondola renaissance since 2004" evangelizing at full steam and "driverless technology just moved one step closer to becoming every reality".

(viii) After a year's hard work, leading a great team at WRI, we just launched the new report from the Risky Business Project: "From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy."  Our analysis finds that the U.S. economy can reduce CO2 emission by 80% by 2050. It's technically and economically achievable using commercial and near-commercial technology. This transition is necessary in order to reduce climate risk to the American economy. ‚Ä™Hausker.K 

(ix) Technical Pre-feasibility Analysis of a Mass Transportation System in San Jose, Costa Rica

Sources: The GuardianUSEPAClimateAction