What future for diesel cars?
It is often suggested that diesel cars have a useful role in reducing climate emissions, particularly in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal. This position, strongly promoted by many in the car industry, and accepted by much of the public, underpinned lower taxes and weaker air pollution standards for diesel fuel and diesel cars, contributing to a boom in diesel car sales. Diesel accounted for 53% of new car sales in Western Europe in 2014, compared to 1-5% in Japan and the US.
But “diesel cars are intensifying, rather than mitigating, global warming”, according to Dr Eckard Helmers, Professor of chemical and environmental analysis at Trier University of Applied Sciences.
On foot of Prof Helmers’ work, Green Budget Europe recommends ending preferential tax treatment for diesel fuel and diesel vehicles in the EU.
The briefing was presented at a hearing organised by Green Budget Europe at the European Parliament in February 2016.