London Ultra Low Emission Zone cuts toxic air pollution by a third

London Ultra Low Emission Zone cuts toxic air pollution by a third

Empowering the city with the option of buying its own dirty power – whether from local generators or smart grids – could cut emissions as much as 80 per cent by 2030, according to a government adviser.

The Global Heat Energy Innovations Toolkit recommends councils own the “vehicle emissions reporting system” that controls the amount of fuel in public vehicles and data on the way people drive.

Low emission zones to remove invisible pollution from schools, transport, homes and large buildings, as well as a range of buses and power stations.

The Government has already announced plans to extend the policy beyond 10 per cent by 2026.

Researchers suggested the current energy grid would have to be set up to integrate the “gigawatts” – plants that can produce green energy – to cut emissions.

The global systems are being sought by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health as part of their summer training course.

Dr Patrick Corrigan, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said the energy systems could be integrated into the current national energy grid.

The Government has announced plans to extend the policy beyond 10 per cent by 2026

“Any complementary architecture that is necessary to that could tie together multiple power grids and it would essentially mean different countries buying their own, different sources and then getting their capacity from different sources,” he said.

“Although it would be extremely difficult to take on a substantial array of already existing assets, it would have to cover the entire country.

“One of the reasons we do think we have to get into this sector in the first place is that when you have a climate challenge, you need policy which can make a difference.

“How do you make the policy that can work?”

Both the Government and local government, said Dr Corrigan, were already thinking about options.

He added: “It is easier to talk about it and implement it than to actually make it happen.

“The reality is that we have a number of models that governments are working with, and it is important they take into account how markets work, how they adapt with changes in consumer behaviour, how they work with mechanisms such as incentives.”

Empowering the city with the option of buying its own dirty power – whether from local generators or smart grids – could cut emissions as much as 80 per cent by 2030, according to a government adviser

Any such changes would have to be made “at low-income levels”, added Dr Corrigan.

Faced with the prospect of an overall 30 per cent increase in emissions, he added: “It is certainly reasonable to say to people who may be particularly vulnerable in these circumstances that you are investing in the infrastructure to make you more efficient.”

He said being a customer in a range of electricity providers was an obvious model.

Local authority councillors would be expected to sign up to any standards set by the local energy regulator, he added.

People’s views would be asked for them to decide whether they would change their behaviour in response to the standards.

Dr Corrigan said it was unlikely that the ambitious measures for reducing emissions would put many more people on renewable forms of energy.

If voluntary efforts from providers led to rising standards from members of the public, the policy would be easier to enforce, he added.

“One of the things we’ve seen is that there is a willingness on the part of providers to come down to the local level,” he said.

“That is in the midst of a huge debate on how best to move towards a genuinely clean energy economy, but the thing we need to do is put a face on this rather than pretend that this won’t change policy because we have the voluntary thing.”

He said it was possible to achieve the same emissions reduction targets on the national scale without adding new national infrastructure, saying “there’s no reason why it couldn’t work that way”.

The Government has already committed to extending the policy beyond 10 per cent by 2026.

This comes after the UK’s roads and transport departments told a report last month that “green schemes” do not make the best economic sense.

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About Ann Jaye

Ann Jaye Brown is a 28-year-old resident artist at a studio who enjoys planking, writing and badminton. She is energetic and creative, but can also be very greedy and a bit impatient. She is a British Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a degree in chemistry.

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