Nitrogen oxide is the global warming culprit that has been ignored by many, unfortunately, for a very long time. This element has led to huge costs to both the environment as well as human health. People who have been exposed to nitrogen oxides for a long period time may experience respiratory issues, lessening their lung function and limiting an active lifestyle. Reducing human exposure to nitrogen oxide is a bold idea that can have huge impact. Of course, the devil is always in the details.
300 nurses… and … Doctors Against Diesel (a campaign group) signed a letter that encouraged the higher ups to eliminate the current fleet of diesel cars…
The notorious element is released when fuel is burned at a high temperature. Nitrogen oxide pollutes the air and is very common near coal-burning power plants. However, nitrogen oxide mostly appears in a large volume due to vehicle traffic.
Different organizations and companies are trying to come up with ways to solve the problem of nitrogen oxide. In the United Kingdom, the Government has recently proposed to ban the purchases of petrol, as well as diesel cars and vans.
The action is made to encourage the use of alternative energy sources and healthier living. This strategy was put into place because of the discovery that Britain has a high level of air pollution, which is responsible for 40,000 premature deaths a year.
In the year 2040 this ban will come into effect, which is going to give car manufacturers and builders 23 more years to prepare. The banning of petrol and diesel car purchases is only part of the much-anticipated clean air plan by the British Government.
AutoExpress mentioned that the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) presented the latest air quality/clean air plan. It wants local authorities to expand the number of clean air zones (CAZ), especially in areas that are extremely polluted. Different measures that are also included in the plan:
- Change the layout of the road in order to lessen congestion.
- Encourage the uptake of low-emission cars.
- Encourage the practice of using public transport.
The ministers have also been asked to introduce an aspect of the ban that would charge drivers entering CAZ in a diesel vehicle. With that being said, the Government is only going to consider the idea of taxing as a last resort.
According to a statement from the Government Spokesman, “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible.”
The Government’s plan strengthened when nearly 300 nurses, doctors, and other health professionals from Doctors Against Diesel (a campaign group) signed a letter that encouraged the higher ups to eliminate the current fleet of diesel cars, because of their adverse effects on human health.
Not Everyone Is Happy About the Plan
After the announcement, many motorists are not on board with the banning of petrol and diesel car purchases. The Sun has reported that more than 75% of motorists do not agree with the Government’s plan. While only four percent of the public agreed to make their vehicle an electric car.
Around 89% of the motorists also do not trust the Government’s promise that taxing is just an option. They believe that the ministers only want this ban to pass, so they can raise more money through tax revenues, instead of helping to diminish long-term health risks.
Michael Gove, who is the Environment Secretary, has published the plan and is now taking account for it. He is the one who insisted that the Government must tackle sky-high emissions on 81 roads across the United Kingdom.
The impact of nitrogen oxide is being felt in locations all over the world and not just in the UK. Banning petrol and diesel cars may seem like overkill, but then again, transportation may have changed dramatically by the year 2040. Banning petrol and diesel car purchases may not be the ideal solution, but maybe it will get the conversation started and result in more and better ideas, that can make a real impact in the future.