London announces world’s first ultra low emissions zone

London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, officially implemented the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in a bid to improve the city’s air quality and liability standards.

The 24-hour ULEZ will see a levy put on place on vehicles that do not meet Euro 4 standards for petrol vehicles, and Euro 6 standards for diesel powered vehicles.

Vehicles that don’t meet these standards will be charged £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for larger, industrial vehicles such as trucks and busses.

“This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation. I simply refuse to be yet another politician who ignores it,” Mr Khan said.

Currently, the transport sector accounts for over 50 percent of harmful emissions, and costs the city an estimated $6.7 billion in economic losses and related health issues.

“This is also about social justice - people in the most deprived parts of London, who are least likely to own a car, suffer the worst effects of harmful air pollution. I will not stand by and watch children grow up with under-developed lungs in our city. The ULEZ is a vital step towards helping combat London’s illegal air,” Mayor Khan said.

The Climate Group’s CEO, Helen Clarkson, welcomed the announcement, saying that it will significantly expedite the uptake of electric vehicles.

“London is demonstrating great leadership by introducing the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone. This is exactly the kind of bold policy measure we need to tackle inner city air pollution and drive down carbon emissions. Congratulations to the Mayor – we hope other major cities are inspired to follow suit,” Ms Clarkson said.

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