Diesel cars should be banned from central London, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The latest call for diesels to be banished from the capital urges London Mayor Sadiq Khan to escalate his plan to improve London’s air quality.
The IPPR says London is falling behind other cities around the world at improving its air, as well as being behind the Mayor’s target of a 60% reduction in emissions by 2025.
The think tank is also encouraging Khan to pledge to make London a zero-carbon city by 2050; the start of which is the proposed diesel ban. In October 2015, it set out a plan of action to make the zero-carbon goal possible, which included investment in public transport, making freight transport carbon free, ensuring optimum use of bicycles in the capital and moving ‘beyond diesel’.
The IPPR says road transport accounts for almost 15% of the total emissions in London, and an IPPR researcher told the Guardian that phasing out diesel cars and buses is a vital step in complying with EU clean air regulations in the capital.
An expert panel is being held this evening by IPPR, which will discuss the problem, and what must be done to alleviate it. The panel will launch a Greenpeace-commissioned research campaign into London’s air pollution, and will assist the Mayor with his air pollution consultation.
Diesel cars have faced intense scrutiny in the months since the Volkswagen emissions scandal, with multiple calls for them to be banned and various authorities outlining future plans to ban all fossil-fuelled cars – on both local or city-wide and national scales. Many have called for higher taxation on diesels, while the transport secretary hinted at reversing the tax breaks diesel owners currently enjoy.
Progress is already in the pipeline regarding IPPR’s call for the phasing out of diesel taxis and buses; TfL legislation dictates that all taxis registered after the start of 2018 must be ‘zero emissions capable’ – LTC, the London Taxi Company, has responded by developing a range-extended EV taxi, which will be launched in late 2017.
A spokesman from IPPR was unavailable for comment at the time of writing. Stay tuned to Autocar for more details when they become available.