Government warned against demonising diesel
Central government and local authorities should think hard and look at the facts before making major policy changes in the name of in the name of achieving green environmental improvements, says Glass's.The publishers of the motor trade bible point out that knee jerk reactions to studies showing the negative impact of diesel emissions on urban air quality could be counterproductive as well as affect sales and use of diesel-powered vehicles like motorhomes.
Rupert Pontin, head of valuations, points that while some older diesel vehicles undoubtedly pump out too much nitrogen oxide and other potentially harmful substances, those that meet the latest emissions standards are virtually as clean as petrol. Euro VI is also on the way, aiming to clean up diesel fumes even further.
He said, "We have no argument against the findings of the various reports on air quality that are pointing the finger at diesel. The science appears to be very robust. However, they are reporting a historic picture. The latest diesel emissions standards are very stringent and newer vehicles are unlikely to have the same kind of impact on the air that we breathe.
"There is ongoing talk at both a central and local government level about adopting policies such as low-emissions zones or changes in taxation that are designed to reduce the use of diesel but we need a grown-up debate that recognises the subtleties of the situation.
"Going forward, the latest diesel vehicles might be the best overall choice for the future taking into account their low CO2 emissions, strong fuel economy and overall environmental performance.
"Also, it is important to remember that the growth of diesel across the last decade and longer has been as a direct result of policies designed to encourage its use thanks to a lower CO2 profile. One could say that our poor air quality in cities is arguably a direct result of previous Government intervention. We need to make sure that we don't make the same fundamental mistakes again and rather than demonising diesel the debate must, without prejudice, look at the pros and cons of each type of fuel and what we genuinely want to achieve before major policy decisions are made.
“In the event that, for example, there was an increase in road fund licence designed to reduce diesel use, few owners of diesel vehicles could afford to simply change out of their current vehicle and switch to another fuel."
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