Unprecedented joint inquiry by four committees of MPs demands polluters pay for air pollution causing ‘national health emergency’
Damian CarringtonThu 15 Mar 2018 06.01 GMT
The car industry must pay millions of pounds towards solving the UK’s toxic air crisis under the “polluter pays” principle, according to an unprecedented joint inquiry by four committees of MPs.
The MPs call the poisonous air that causes 40,000 early deaths a year a “national health emergency” and are scathing about the government’s clean air plans. These judged illegal three times in the high court, with the latest plan condemned as “woefully inadequate” by city leaders and “inexcusable” by doctors.
The government must bring forward the 2040 date by which sales of conventional diesel and petrol cars are to be banned, to match the ambition of other nations which have set dates around 2030, the 49 cross-party MPs concluded. They also accused ministers of avoiding tough action for “political convenience”.
“The government’s latest plan does not present an effective response to the scale of the air quality catastrophe in the UK,” said Neil Parish MP, chair of the environment food and rural affairs committee, which joined with the health, transport and environmental audit committees in undertaking the inquiry. “Real change will require bold, meaningful action.”