Measures to reduce emissions will be required in buildings, heating plants and industrial areas, experts have warned.
The call comes after controversy following the implementation of an ultra low emission zone (Ulez) in London, which will see drivers charged for their cars’ polluting impact. This scheme will now be expanded, causing backlash from drivers who say the scheme will impact their way of life.
Climate experts have now warned that the scheme will need to be expanded to buildings and industrial areas.
“About half of all the nitrogen dioxide that pollutes central London actually comes from buildings and not from vehicles, and while we are taking measures to improve pollution from cars, buses and lorries, we are not yet tackling those produced by houses, offices and factories,” said climate expert Prof Alastair Lewis.
The issue seems to be tied with the way buildings are heated. Gas boilers and combined heat and power sources cause significant amounts of emissions.
A measure of the problem is provided by examining how much nitrogen dioxide pollution is produced by a typical domestic gas boiler in a day. “The average output is the equivalent of driving a new diesel car for 70km,” added Lewis.
“We need to think about these issues today if we want to keep cutting air pollution in future,” he added. “We need to reach net zero in the near future, but in a way that also keeps air pollution to a minimum.”
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Experts’ warnings are clear: air pollution will only get worse if we do not tackle it now.
Air pollution can cause a wide range of diseases, including aggravated asthma. Businesses have a responsibility to reduce these emissions.
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