Carmakers are killing our right to clean air

(Transport and Environment, 3 Jun 2021) The car industry has fiercely criticised proposed Euro 7 emissions standards, claiming the regulation will cripple sales. But this is just another chapter in a long history of misleading the public, writes Anna Krajinska.

Anna Krajinska is the emission engineer at Transport & Environment, an NGO advocating for clean mobility.

The recent landmark ruling in the United Kingdom that air pollution caused by toxic emissions from cars, buses and trucks, was responsible for the death of 9 year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, should send a very clear message: failure to urgently address the causes of the toxic air that millions of us are forced to breath daily, will result in more unnecessary and avoidable deaths.

We have known for decades that dangerous emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles causes tens of thousands of premature deaths across Europe every year.

Yet, even after the dieselgate scandal exposed EU carmakers cheating on emissions tests, the industry continues to deny responsibility for the appalling air quality in our cities.

At this very moment, carmakers are aggressively lobbying against a new law that would make engines less polluting and improve air quality for all.

The human cost of serious health problems and diseases, including lung cancer, asthma and heart disease, also costs countries tens of billions of Euros every year.

The problem is particularly bad in traffic choked cities, where cars and trucks are the main source of nitrogen dioxide pollution. No one should have to accept toxic air in exchange for car manufacturers avoiding investing in cleaner cars.

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Transport and Environment, 3 Jun 2021: Carmakers are killing our right to clean air