THERE are at least 2,515,322 private cars on our roads.
That figure does not include trucks, vans, buses, motorcycles or tractors so it must be assumed that the cumulative environmental and health impact of all these vehicles is considerable. Yet, despite considerable research and evidence which attributed three million premature deaths a year to dirty air, we do not seem to have any immediate plans to wean ourselves off carbon-fuelled vehicles. However, four of the world’s biggest cities are to ban diesel vehicles from their centres within the next decade. Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City yesterday announced plans to take diesel cars and vans off their roads by 2025.
There are disadvantages to being a small country that sometimes seems on the edge of the world but there are advantages too. One is that we have the chance to leap-frog processes, we do not have to take one-after-the-other each and every step imposed on others. This is such an instance. Let’s be brave and follow those four capitals and set an early date to ban diesel vehicles from our cities.
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