Clean Air Summit: London Mayor doubles scrappage fund for polluting vehicles

London Mayor Sadiq Khan will today (14 February) announce a new £25m fund that will double the cash available to help business owners and London residents to scrap older, polluting vehicles, one the same day that city leaders call on Government to establish a £1.5bn clean vehicle upgrade programme.

Clean Air Summit: London Mayor doubles scrappage fund for polluting vehicles

The #LoveCleanAir message is being used for the National Clean Air Summit taking place in London today

Khan is aiming to incentivise businesses and residents operating in the capital to switch to greener vehicle models by adding an extra £25m into a scrappage scheme for old and polluting cars. Combined with a £23m scheme that was launched in December 2018, the City of London will now provide £48m to help those who are unable to upgrade to cleaner vehicles due to financial constraints.

The Mayor’s final Budget, including details on the new £25m fund, will be presented to the London Assembly on 25 February.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Our country’s filthy air is a national disgrace that shortens lives, damages our lungs, and severely impacts our NHS. City leaders across the country are united in raising the alarm about the dangers posed by poor air quality.

“Here in London, we have worked tirelessly to clean-up the bus and taxi fleet, encourage clean air innovation and establish the largest air quality monitoring network of any major world city.”

Research suggests that toxic air is contributing to around 40,000 premature deaths every year, as well as draining more than £20bn from the economy annually. It has also been revealed that more than 400 London schools are located in areas where air quality limits have been breached.

Air quality has been a focal point for Khan for some time. The Central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will come into force on 8 April, aiming to reduce toxic emissions by 45% by 2020. North and South ULEZ will also appear in 2021 to ensure that every school in London meets legal pollution limits by 2025.

The capital’s business community has already taken action in preparation for the ULEZ launch, with 17 major businesses and organisations having recently committed to replacing their van fleets with EVs by 2028.

Meanwhile, businesses on one of London’s Bond Street – one of the capital’s most polluted – have collaborated to slash the amount of CO2e and NOx emitted by freight vehicles travelling in the area by 76%.

Love Clean Air

The announcement forms part of a campaign day to mobilise calls for UK Government to set ambitious clean air targets. The #LoveCleanAir message is being used for the National Clean Air Summit taking place in London today.

As part of the event, the cities network UK100 is gathering city leaders to call for new action. Notably, campaigners and city leaders are calling for the creation of a £1.5bn government-funded vehicle upgrade programme and the adoption of World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended air pollution limits as legally binding targets to be achieved by 2030.

“Ministers must now show they can match my commitment,” Khan said. “If we’re going to tackle the health crisis and social injustice caused by air pollution it is vital and only fair that a national vehicle scrappage scheme is funded and supported by the government.”

Labour’s London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, Leonie Cooper AM, added: “The fact that the Mayor will now double his scrap for cash fund will provide excellent support for micro-businesses and low-income Londoners to transition to cleaner vehicles and improve our air.

“At today’s Clean Air Summit, I hope Ministers will listen to the widespread calls for the adoption of World Health Organisation air pollution recommendations and the introduction of a £1.5bn government-funded vehicle upgrade scheme.”

Matt Mace

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