ClientEarth has today welcomed the Mayor of London’s action on tackling the city’s toxic air in their official response to the consultation on his air pollution action plan.
The environmental law organisation is delighted the Mayor is addressing the problem so early on in his term and supports many of the measures he proposes. By focusing on road transport and in particular diesel vehicles, the Mayor is demonstrating that he understands the urgency of addressing this public health crisis.
However, ClientEarth thinks the Mayor should go further in three key areas:
1. With air pollution causing over 9,000 early deaths in London each year the Mayor needs to go further on the Ultra Low Emission Zone and extend it to Greater London as many pollution hotspots are outside the North/South circular. He should consider implementing the ULEZ earlier, either in 2018 or the beginning of 2019. And he should make the Congestion Charge Zone zero emission for each class of vehicle as soon as technically feasible.
2. The Mayor should extend the T-charge (for the most polluting vehicles) to all diesel cars. He should also consider including all diesel vehicles if an analysis shows this would meet compliance with legal air pollution limits in the shortest time possible.
3. A vehicle accreditation or consumer labelling system should be introduced to ensure that any Euro 6 diesel vehicles that are allowed to enter London under the T-Charge or ULEZ actually meet the required emission standard when driving on the road.
ClientEarth spokesperson Simon Alcock said, “We welcome the Mayor showing significant ambition to improve London’s air quality so early on in his term and are supportive of many of his proposals. However, he needs to go further and faster to meet his legal and moral obligations to protect the people of London from harmful air pollution.
“We urge him to seize this opportunity to put London on the path towards a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future. We look forward to the next round of consultation, where we hope to see the full details of a significantly more ambitious Ultra Low Emission Zone proposal.”