Diesel vehicles and Nitrogen Dioxide pollution

MQT on 2013-06-19
Session date: 
June 19, 2013
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In light of the conclusions of the DEFRA commissioned report 'Remote sensing of NO2 exhaust emissions from road vehicles', will you revise your air quality strategy, which is broadly dependent on the technologies that the report has concluded have broadly failed to cut the levels of the harmful to human health vehicle emission nitrogen dioxide from mainly diesel vehicles?


Answer for Diesel vehicles and Nitrogen Dioxide pollution

Answer for Diesel vehicles and Nitrogen Dioxide pollution

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am committed to improving air quality in London and I have set out an ambitious strategy for doing so. In my first term I tightened Low Emission Zone standards, retired the oldest most polluting taxis and took steps to clean up the bus fleet. Together these and other measures helped reduce emissions of particulate matter (both PM10 and PM2.5) from 2008 to 2012 by 15 per cent and emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 20 per cent.

On 13th February this year I announced an additional package of measures, building on my Air Quality Strategy, to be delivered during my second term and up to 2020. These include proposals for a central London Ultra Low Emission Zone by 2020. My understanding is that this will be the first zone of its type in any world city and will place London on a trajectory to a zero emission future.

With reference to the effectiveness of the Euro standards, the recent Defra-funded King's College London/Newcastle University report only confirms what has been well known for some time. Indeed, I personally raised this matter with European Commission Vice-President Kallas in April 2011. My Air Quality Strategy remains fit for purpose, setting out the broad measures required to improve air quality in London - getting people to walk and cycle more, promoting the use of low emission vehicles, cleaning up buses and taxis, and using the planning system to build in long term reductions in building emissions. I do not intend to revise it.