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Cynicism of car firms is shocking

Published 01/10/2015

IT is extraordinary how car manufacturers will spend millions to evade or delay regulation rather than introducing technology that benefits public health.

It is 30 years since leaded petrol was banned in the UK, but that proposal was fiercely resisted by car manufacturers. In those days, fewer than 10% of new cars were diesel, but nowadays it is 50%.

The dangers of diesel particulates have also been well-known for 30 years, but the car industry cynically proposed diesel as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, instead of opting for genuinely clean alternative fuels.

Air pollution now kills more than 50,000 people annually in the UK and the UK Government was taken to the Supreme Court as it is unable to comply with EU air quality standards.

There is a message here for those in the fossil fuel industry who promote shale gas as an alternative to coal.

Industry appears completely incapable of acting in the public interest, while civil servants and their political masters are toothless guardians of public health.

DR ROBIN RUSSELL-PAGE

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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