Britain’s Supreme Court has ordered the UK government to submit a new plan to the European Union that will outline action to dramatically reduce levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide. The plan has to be submitted by 31 December.
ClientEarth, an environmental law group, brought the case as part of a long-running legal battle. ClientEarth named 16 cities and wider metropolitan areas in the UK as being affected by the pollutant, including the urban West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, the North East and West Yorkshire.
It’s highly likely that any plan will bear down heavily on diesel-powered road transport, especially older vehicles. Commercial vehicles will be in the firing line, along with buses and taxis.
Although the new government could introduce incentive schemes for scrapping older diesel vehicles, there is some concern that even many of the latest Euro 6-rated diesel engines are producing far more nitrogen dioxide emissions in ‘real-world’ traffic conditions than in official tests.
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