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Diesel trucks and cars could be banned from city centres

Feb 03, 2015
A landmark case brought by environment group Client Earth will allow people to sue the British government for breaching EU pollution laws and force ministers to take action to improve air quality more quickly in major cities.

The European Court of Justice ruled last November that emissions of toxic nitrogen dioxide must be reduced as soon as possible. The UK Supreme court is expected to interpret what the time frame should be next year.

The government has admitted that under its current plans the legal limits for toxic nitrogen dioxide gas which should have been met by 2010 would not be achieved in London, Leeds and Birmingham until 2030. Other cities, including Manchester and Glasgow, have target dates of 2025.

The ruling may result in many diesel cars and HGVs being banned from city centres within the next few years.

According to a report in The Guardian, Alan Andrews, lawyer with Client Earth said, “Thousands of people die because of air pollution in Britain every year. This ruling will save lives by forcing the government to finally take this issue seriously. They will now have to come up with an urgent plan to rid our towns and cities of cancer-causing diesel fumes. This sets a ground breaking legal precedent in EU law and paves the way for a series of legal challenges across Europe.”

 

Fleets should be moving over to ‘real world’ CO2 measures 

Fleets should be aiming to move over from manufacturer CO2 figures to more accurate forms of measurement when calculating their carbon footprint, says fleet software specialist Chevin Fleet Solutions.

The company points to figures from pressure group Transport and Environment suggesting that manufacturers are using a variety of techniques to artificially reduce their CO2 figures, resulting in an average 31% under-report.

T&E is backing proposed moves that would see the EU force manufacturers to adopt the World Light Vehicle Test Procedure, a new global standard for fuel and emissions measurements that is believed to be much more accurate. 

Ashley Sowerby, Managing Director at Chevin, said, “We are reaching a situation where manufacturers’ official CO2 figures are really being robbed of their credibility, certainly in terms of absolute accuracy.” 

“Fleets that are serious about calculating their carbon footprint in a meaningful sense need to find new ways of measuring their output. This is an important area of company vehicle activity and we should all be striving for precision.”

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