Years of public officials’ attempts to reduce London’s carbon dioxide emissions have inadvertently resulted in a “public health catastrophe,” environmentalists charge.
The unintended consequences are due to laws passed in the United Kingdom that created incentives for using diesel fuel instead gasoline because of its lower emissions of CO2 — which has led to a host of other dangerous pollutants from the diesel fuel, claims Simon Birkett, founder of the nonprofit group Clean Air in London.
“Successive governments knew more than 10 years ago that diesel was producing all these harmful pollutants, but they myopically plowed on with their CO2 agenda,” Mr. Birkett told Bloomberg News Tuesday.
For instance, nitrogen dioxide can be found in higher concentrations in London than any other European city, with smog levels rivaling Beijing’s, Bloomberg reported.
To put the data in perspective, Bloomberg noted that the European Union limits on NO2 allows for a maximum of 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air, but that one part of London is averaging 83 micrograms this year.
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