In London - breathing can kill you

05 November 2014

This meeting took place on 6 November 2014. Read the transcript here.

4,300 people a year in London are dying prematurely as a result of air pollution.

Diesel emissions take much of the blame for stubbornly high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in recent years. London suffers the biggest cluster of pollutant limit breaches in the UK and the UK is subject to infraction action by the European Commission that could result in fines in the hundreds of millions

The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) launched a public consultation last week on proposals to introduce the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the capital by September 2020, to significantly improve air quality and in turn the health of Londoners.

The London Assembly’s Environment Committee will tomorrow assess the contribution of diesel emissions to London’s air pollution problems and explore the potential of modern engine technologies, as well as air quality regulations, to reduce these emissions.

Are there certain kinds of pollutants most linked to diesel?

What kinds of diesel engine generate the most, or least, pollution?

How long will it be before we see zero-emission vehicles coming into the affordable used car market, for ordinary drivers?

Is there a risk that short term fixes like shifting back to petrol get in the way of slower but more effective solutions like zero-emission vehicles?

The Committee will question the following guests:

Professor Martin Williams, Professor of Air Quality Research, Kings College London, who researches the relationship between air quality and health.

Professor Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health, Kings College London, who researches on the mechanisms of air-pollution-induced lung injury.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The SMMT represents vehicle companies of all types.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 6 November from 10.00am in The Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1). Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Notes to editors: 1. Stephen Knight AM, Chair of the Environment Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below. 2. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor. For more details, please contact Lisa Lam in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4067. For out-of-hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.