24 leading air quality practitioners and researchers from 10 countries have published an open letter warning of the dangers of not strengthening legislation around diesel emissions.
Timed to coincide with discussions in the European Parliament Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) next week, this letter to the European public and policy makers highlights the public health risks associated with diesel.
Diesel cars contribute to the early death of 29,000 people in the UK alone each year, yet there is no public outcry and the motor industry continues to promote these vehicles as ‘clean’ . Diesel cars fail to meet nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission limits when driven on the road. Petrol cars have lower limits and meet them under real driving conditions.
Official CO2 emissions data is also misleading. Real driving emissions from diesel cars may be 40% higher than the published figures . Any CO2 benefit of diesel over petrol is only marginal, and comes at the cost of poor air quality in towns and cities across the EU. 20 Member States currently exceed air quality limit values, largely due to traffic, made worse by the high proportion of diesel cars in most countries.
“We want to make the public more aware of the impact of diesel cars; it is not restricted to one carmaker, but is a generic problem across the industry. Diesel cars are not clean, and never have been”; said Dr Claire Holman, one of the authors of the open letter, and Chair of the Institute of Air Quality Management.
'Leading air quality scientists warn of diesel car danger', Air Quality News
'Air quality specialists lay into pro-diesel policies', ENDS Report (paywall)