Car buyers will soon be able to identify the most environmentally friendly models on the road and choose new cars that will help reduce air pollution in cities
The announcement was made following a closed-door meeting between mayors, senior city officials and representatives of several major car manufacturers, designed to find ways to accelerate the transition to low-emission and electric cars. The meeting, was the first ever such effort by city leaders and car manufacturers to work together in planning for a sustainable future.
Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities, Anne Hidalgo said:
For too long, some vehicle manufacturers have been able to hide behind inconsistent regulation and consumer uncertainty about the damage their cars are causing. This announcement is a wake-up call to car companies that they need to act now. Citizens of Paris and cities around the world demand clean air to breathe and this new scoring scheme will be key to helping achieve that. I am pleased that Paris, the city of the Climate Agreement, is working with London and Seoul to support this project.”
The existing EU labeling scheme only rates vehicles for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, and are based on laboratory tests. Recent scandals have shown the potential for these tests to be manipulated by car manufacturers, undermining public confidence in the tests. Research has also shown that current testing schemes conceal the real-world levels of toxic emissions. Some diesel cars that meet the EU’s highest environmental standards, known as Euro 6, in reality release more Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide than a modern heavy duty truck. These NOx and fine particle pollutants are particularly important, as they are among the most damaging to human health.
The Mayor of London and C40 Vice-Chair, Sadiq Khan said:
My scheme will put an end to the smoke and mirrors that have been employed in official emissions tests. It will provide Londoners with an honest, accurate and independent evaluation of the emissions of most new cars and vans on our roads and on the showroom forecourt. By having ‘on the road’ testing I believe we will help Londoners make an informed choice and incentivate manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.
To underscore the importance of robust and transparent information on real world emissions, Mayor Hidalgo also announced a commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, FIA Foundation and the Joshua and Anita Bekenstein Charitable Fund to enable C40 Cities to work with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and Emissions Analytics to measure vehicle emissions with remote sensors and portable emissions monitoring equipment.
“These new vehicle scoring will empower consumers to make informed choices that protect public health and the planet,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, C40 President of the Board and U.N. Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. “This is a great example of how the same steps that improve lives also fuel progress against climate change.”