Health effects of diesel 'cost European taxpayers billions'

(The Guardian, 27 Nov 2018) Traffic emissions responsible for at least €70bn damage every year, report says.

Air pollution from roads causes at least €70bn (£62bn) in health damage every year in the European Union, according to a new report, with diesel fumes responsible for three-quarters of the harm.

The research, commissioned by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), found the vast majority of the costs were borne by taxpayers through government-funded health services. But these costs could be reduced by 80% by 2030 if ambitious action were taken, the report concluded.

Diesel emissions have been in the spotlight since 2015 when Volkswagen was caught cheating regulatory tests. Virtually all diesel cars were then revealed to be pumping out far more pollution on the road than in official tests. Research in 2017 showed at least 38,000 people a year were dying early as a result of this failure.

In the UK, most urban areas have illegal levels of air pollution and ministers have lost three times in the high court over the inadequacy of their action. The latest government action plan, called “pitiful” by environmental lawyers, revealed air pollution was actually much worse than previously feared.

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The Guardian, 27 Nov 2018: Health effects of diesel 'cost European taxpayers billions'