The U.K. government should consider subsidies for motorists who scrap their diesel cars and switch to vehicles that produce fewer nitrogen-dioxide emissions, a panel of lawmakers said.
Retrofitting diesel engines should also be considered to improve air quality, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said in a report published in London Friday. Policies focused on incentivizing low carbon-dioxide emissions through cheaper vehicle taxes should be redrawn to include other pollutants, the report said.
“Despite mounting evidence of the damage diesel fumes do to human health, changes to Vehicle Excise Duty announced in this year’s budget maintained the focus only on CO2 emissions. This was a missed opportunity to also incentivize vehicles which emit less NO2,” the committee chairman, Huw Irranca-Davies, said in an e-mailed statement. “Introducing a national diesel scrappage scheme could also provide a short cut to cleaning up the air in our cities.”
The committee published its report in advance of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday.
Air quality should remain as a responsibility of central government rather than being transferred to local authorities, the panel said.