26 Julio 2017 12:11
Say goodbye to damaging air pollution in the UK (in over 20 years time)...Wander down the streets of any London borough and you’ll feel your lungs clog up with fumes. Get in after a day out, wipe your face, and stare in disgust at how much dirt has accumulated on your skin. This is the reality of city life in the UK right now. That’s why the Tory government, in a somewhat unprecedented step towards tackling poor air quality, is poised to announce that new diesel and petrol vehicles will be banned from 2040 onwards. Electric and hybrid cars and vans will be favoured. The commitment follows in the footsteps of recently-elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, who announced a very similar plan in France just a few weeks ago. Fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide in the air may pose a serious risk to public health has jump-started the policy initiative. A Conservative Party clean air plan has been the focal point of a protracted high court legal battle. After a draft plan was published in May, it was described by lawyers as ‘much weaker than hoped for’. The final plan is expected to be much more aggressive on the issue.
[caption id="attachment_5530" align="aligncenter" width="358"] Getty[/caption]‘Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,’ a government spokesman said. ‘That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.’ Ministers will also unveil a £255m fund to help councils lower emissions from diesel vehicles, as part of the £3bn clean air package. Previously, High Court judges sided with environmental campaigners who argued the draft legislation was insufficient to meet EU pollution limits. While activists and supporters have welcomed the new plan, many were also hoping for government-funded 'clean air' zones, with charges for the most-polluting vehicles. However, Tories have said taxing motorists will only be considered as a last resort, for fear that they will anger and alienate road-users. Environmental secretary Michael Gove will be hoping for a better reception to his new plan than when he first published the draft programme.