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London’s Dirty Secret: Pollution Worse Than Beijing’s


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It’s the law of unintended consequences at work. European Union efforts to fight climate change favored diesel fuel over petrol or LPG because it emits less carbon dioxide, or CO2. However, diesel’s contaminants have swamped benefits from measures that include a toll drivers pay to enter central London, a thriving bike-hire program and growing public-transport network.


Successive governments knew more than 10 years ago that diesel was producing all these harmful pollutants, but they myopically plowed on with their CO2 agenda,” said Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air in London, a nonprofit group. “It’s been a catastrophe for air pollution, and that’s not too strong a word. It’s a public-health catastrophe.


Europe-wide policy triggered the problem. The “dieselisation” of London’s cars began with an agreement between car manufacturers and the EU in 1998 that aimed to lower the average CO2 emissions of new vehicles. Because of diesel’s greater fuel economy, and lower CO2 emissions, use of diesels increased - as did the resulting pollution from really nasty compounds produced by diesel fuel.


"Tiny particles called PM2.5s probably killed 3,389 people in London in 2010, the government agency Public Health England said in April. Like nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, they come from diesel combustion. Because the pollutants are found together, it’s hard to identify deaths attributable only to NO2, said Jeremy Langrish, a clinical lecturer in cardiology at the University of Edinburgh."










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Symbol Owner - 2014-05-29 4:39 PM


antony1969 - 2014-05-29 4:04 PM


Blame all those folk charging them blinking ebike thingys up , burning all that fuel to power them machines up , crazy scandal


You wouldn't be being 'Judgemental' would you Antony? :-D






No way ! Never entered my empty northern oik empty head !

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A very bias piece, as we all know diesel is priced higher than petrol in UK as a 'green tax' and also increasingly tighter emission controls with cats and DPF's now the norm to combat the known problems with diesel.

What we do have is an increasing number of people complaining about the EU introducing these measures and the fact that older dirtier diesel vans have in effect been banned from London.

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