Category Archives: Air pollution

The death of diesel: can struggling industry woo back consumers?

Amid fears about pollution, penalties and bans, buyers are abandoning diesel cars in droves

No customers were troubling the Jaguar showroom in Welwyn Garden City on Friday, at the start of what is usually its busiest month.

Even one with a car on order had not turned up in the snow, said Mark Lavery, chief executive of Cambria Automobiles, looking at a £75,000 Jaguar coupe: “She doesn’t want to spoil an F-type with all that salt on the roads.”

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Source: gad

Rome to ban diesel cars from city centre by 2024

Mayor announces ‘strong measures’ to tackle pollution in Italy’s traffic-clogged capital

Rome, one of Europe’s most traffic-clogged cities and home to thousands of ancient outdoor monuments threatened by pollution, plans to ban diesel cars from the centre by 2024, its mayor has said.

Virginia Raggi announced the decision on her Facebook page on Tuesday, saying: “If we want to intervene seriously, we have to have the courage to adopt strong measures”.

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Source: gad

Brussels to make public transport free on high air pollution days

The new rules will also see car speed limits cut and wood-burning stoves banned in a drive to improve air quality in the city

Brussels has moved to make the city’s public transport and bike share system free on the smoggiest days in a bid to drive down pollution levels and meet EU air quality directives.

After two consecutive days of high particulate matter (PM) levels – defined as surpassing an average of 51-70 micrograms per cubic metre of air – buses, trams and metros would have to open their doors completely free, under new city council rules.

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Source: gad

German court to rule on city bans for heavily polluting diesel cars

Federal court set to announce whether Stuttgart and Düsseldorf can use vehicle bans to try to improve air quality

One of Germany’s top courts will rule on Thursday whether heavily polluting vehicles can be banned from the urban centres of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, a landmark ruling which could cause traffic chaos and dramatically hit the value of diesel cars on the country’s roads.

Related: First fall in car sales since 2011 blamed on fears over diesel ban

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Source: gad

Blue-sky thinking: how China's crackdown on pollution is paying off

Clear skies above Beijing again – but some fear the problem is just being pushed elsewhere

The photographs on display at Wu Di’s Beijing studio imagine China and Beijing at their dystopian worst.

Naked, expectant mothers stare out from the walls, their bellies exposed but their faces hidden behind green gas masks.

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Source: gad

Fresh air for sale

It started as a joke, but now people spend a fortune on bottled fresh air. Alex Moshakis reveals how global pollution is fuelling this fad

One day in early 2015, Moses Lam and Troy Paquette filled a Ziploc bag with fresh air and posted it to eBay. The bag sold at the asking price – 99 Canadian cents, about 60p – and what was at first a joke between friends suddenly became less fanciful. The pair filled another bag and posted that online, too. When the media took note, a bidding war began, and the item ended, as hot tickets on eBay normally do, with an improbable surge. It sold for C$168 (£99).

Lam had been toiling on commission as a mortgage specialist. He had met Paquette at work. Both were fed up with the monotony of their jobs, and they saw in their eBay success the opportunity to create a new kind of market – fresh air! – one they might control themselves. Carefully, they developed a product robust enough to survive divergent postal systems: an aluminium canister connected to a plastic mouthpiece through which customers could inhale air siphoned from remote locations in Banff, Alberta, where the pair live. Next they conducted cursory research on air pollution, and soon they identified a primary market: Los Angeles, a city at once health-conscious, plagued by cars, and susceptible to wild fires, which fill the atmosphere with toxins. “We said: ‘Let’s model this after bottled water’,” Lam told me. They named their company Vitality Air.

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Source: gad