Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Sadiq Khan, Theresa May.
“Diesel will not disappear from one day to another. But I am quite sure they will disappear much faster than we can imagine.”
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European Union’s industry commissioner, commented on tougher rules to get cars that are more polluting when driven than when tested off the roads. While no independent EU emission testing institution will be created, Brussels will be allowed to fine carmakers up to 30,000 euros per vehicle if caught.
“I am doing all I can in London – but the only way we can make our lethal air safe is if the government commits to the major measures experts agree are necessary to tackle this incredibly serious issue.”
In the wake of the EU decision, London mayor Sadiq Khan demands major interventions including a national diesel scrappage fund, new low emission zones across the UK and a Clean Air Act for the 21st Century from the British government. The latter however was instrumental in preventing EU oversight of emission testing.
“We will be producing a new air quality plan – we’ve been required to do that by the courts. (…) But I’m very conscious of the fact that past governments have encouraged people to buy diesel cars and we need to take that into account.”
With these words UK Prime Minister Theresa May stops short any hope that her Tory government will take to the task to end diesel and/or act for air quality enthusiastically or in a proactive manner.