Sadiq Khan accuses German car makers of "double standards"

The Mayor of London has written to the UK bosses of BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes following just £1 million of clean air funding

Diesel smog, haze, pollution

The Mayor of London has written to the UK bosses of Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, accusing the companies of operating “double standards” by not investing millions in clean air programmes in the UK. 

Sadiq Khan said: “Londoners will be baffled by the double standards of these car manufacturers. On the one hand, they admit they’ve got to cut emissions from their vehicles, but they confine their funding to Germany alone." 

Khan pointed out that the three manufacturers have paid £223 million towards the German Government’s Sustainable Mobility Fund for Cities. At the same time, the UK Government has only secured £1 million funding from the manufacturers. Khan added that Volkswagen will also have to pay £24 billion in the US for fines, compensations and other settlements from the diesel emissions scandal.

VW emissions scandal: Unfixed cars could be de-registered in Germany

Khan added: “In July, the UK managing director of VW sat in my office and said they couldn’t contribute anything to fund cleaning up London’s air, but their German colleagues are providing money. Londoners will find that unacceptable.

“I am taking bold action to clean up London’s toxic air, but I can’t do it alone. The Government must act urgently to secure a meaningful amount of funding from these manufacturers, which could help people to scrap the most polluting diesel vehicles and take these off our streets.”

Earlier this year, the Mayor unveiled a new £10 T-Charge that will work alongside the existing £11.50 congestion charge. Drivers of the most polluting petrol and diesel cars with pre-Euro 4 engines will face paying £21.50 to drive in central London after 23 October when the new T-Charge kicks in. 

Do you agree with the Mayor of London? Should German car manufacturers fund British clean air schemes? Tell us what you think in the comments below... 

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