Three cities to rate polluting vehicles in new index

PARIS • The mayors of Paris, London and Seoul yesterday launched an initiative to rate the most polluting vehicles in a bid to keep them off the roads of their cities.

The aim of the "Air'volution" scheme is to help drivers avoid buying the most harmful diesel vans and cars.

Speaking at a press conference in Paris, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said respiratory problems caused by emissions led to 9,000 deaths a year in his city. "It is imperative that we do something," Mr Khan said. He said the index of vehicles would be the "first of its type in the world".

Major car manufacturers have been invited to participate in the scheme, but Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo admitted that trust "needed to be rebuilt" after the scandal over emissions test cheating that embroiled Volkswagen and has also drawn in French giant Renault.

"This must be a co-production with car manufacturers and it is work that must be a win-win situation," Ms Hidalgo said.

Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon said his city had slashed harmful emissions by converting 7,500 buses to operate on gas rather than diesel.

Separately, India's top court yesterday banned the sale of more than 800,000 new cars which fall short of new emissions standards, declaring public health more important than company profits.

The Supreme Court ordered a halt to the sale and registration of vehicles that will not meet new pollution standards come Saturday, when a cleaner model of engine will become the norm.

The ruling is expected to affect as many as 824,000 vehicles not yet sold or registered.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline 'Three cities to rate polluting vehicles in new index'. Print Edition | Subscribe