Cars in Hackney, east London

German carmakers ‘must boost clean air fund’

06 October 2017

Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz to contribute to a clean air fund to help offset diesel emissions in London.

In a letter to UK chief executives, the Mayor called on the carmakers to bolster the Air Quality Fund in recognition of their vehicles’ impact on air quality and public health.

The United States has received £24 billion from Volkswagen, including fines and compensation settlements, while German auto manufacturers have contributed up to £223 million to a sustainability fund.

However, the UK Government has secured only £1 million in funding from German car firms.

The Mayor has also written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, demanding the Government take urgent action to secure funding for clean air projects.

Londoners will be baffled by the double standards of these car manufacturers. On the one hand, they admit they’ve got to cut emissions from their vehicles, but they confine their funding to Germany alone,” he said.

This is ridiculous, as their vehicles are driven all over Europe, including on London’s roads. They must apply the same approach across all the markets that they trade in.”

Some 50 per cent of London’s air pollution comes from road vehicles, with a new T-Charge (toxicity charge) coming into force on 23 October targeting the oldest, most polluting vehicles, especially diesels.

Research published on Wednesday revealed the dire extent of the capital’s toxic air, with statistics showing all 8.6 million Londoners are exposed to levels of superfine PM2.5 particles that exceed World Health Organization guidelines.

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