Expiry date on dirty cars is good, but real action needed before 2040

Publication date: 26th July 2017

Commenting on the government plan to tackle air pollution published today, Areeba Hamid, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:

“The government is right to put an expiry date on dirty petrol and diesel engines, but 2040 is far too late. We cannot wait nearly a quarter of a century for real action to tackle the public health emergency caused by air pollution. Car manufacturers like Volvo have announced their intention to move away from petrol and diesel by the end of this decade. Germany, India, the Netherlands and Norway are all considering bans by 2030 or sooner. The U.K. has the potential to lead the world in clean transport revolution, but it is vital we stay ahead now through a more ambitious phase-out date to boost our domestic market, as other countries are catching up.

“While this plan makes the right headline-grabbing noises, in reality it means that children across the UK will continue to be exposed to harmful air pollution for years to come, with potentially irreversible impacts. Providing a long term vision is not enough, Gove still needs to protect our health right now from toxic fumes polluting our streets.”

“The government cannot shy away any longer from the issue of diesel cars clogging up and  polluting our cities, and must now provide real solutions, not just gimmicks. That means proper clean air zones and funding to support local authorities to tackle illegal and unsafe pollution.”