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Mayor urges manufacturers to compensate for toxic diesels

Date: 11 October 2017

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on vehicle manufacturers to contribute to his Air Quality Fund in recognition of the negative impacts their diesel vehicles have on air quality and public health in London.

The Mayor recently wrote to UK chiefs at BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen urging them to take serious action on diesel emissions. 

These manufacturers have already contributed up to £223 million to the German Government's 'Sustainable Mobility Fund for Cities' and the Mayor is now urging them to take action in London and the UK.?

The Mayor has also written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, as part of his continued lobbying of government to do more to tackle the biggest environmental public health crisis in a generation.

He is calling on government to secure contributions from vehicle manufacturers on the same scale as the £24 billion received from Volkswagen (including fines, compensation and other settlements) in the US and £223 million from German car manufacturers in Germany. So far, the UK Government has only secured £1 million of funding.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Londoners will be baffled by the double standards of these car manufacturers. On the one hand, they admit they've got to cut emissions from their vehicles, but they confine their funding to Germany alone. This is ridiculous, as their vehicles are driven all over Europe, including on London's roads. They must apply the same approach across all the markets that they trade in.

"In July, the UK managing director of VW sat in my office and said they couldn't contribute anything to fund cleaning up London's air, but their German colleagues are providing money. Londoners will find that unacceptable. 

"I am taking bold action to clean up London's toxic air, but I can't do it alone. The government must act urgently to secure a meaningful amount of funding from these manufacturers, which could help people to scrap the most polluting diesel vehicles and take these off our streets." 

Road transport is responsible for around half of NOx emissions in the capital, and around 90% of these emissions are caused by diesel vehicles.