TRUE partner the International Council on Clean Transportation is a leading global organisation offering independent technical and scientific advice to regulators to improve public health and mitigate climate change from the transportation sector.

A particular focus is the contribution of dirty vehicles in urban areas to the ongoing air pollution crisis in cities around the world. The ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, which ICCT helped uncover, was a wake-up call that government compliance and enforcement programs are inadequate. The TRUE Initiative’s ongoing response to this challenge is a true test of our commitment to protecting our people from avoidable harm.

This will require new technologies, new policy approaches and better consumer information, all of which are currently dependent on laboratory tested emission levels from vehicles which, as ‘Dieselgate’ showed, bear very little relation to what those vehicles are actually emitting on the road. In fact, real-world exhaust emissions from modern diesel cars – particularly in Europe - are many times higher under real-world conditions than under laboratory testing. In some cases, levels of nitrogen dioxide are 15 to 40 times higher. This failure – which is in large part due to car manufacturers deliberately cheating on tests – is costing lives, an estimated 11,400 in the EU alone in 2015. There is a way through this situation. Some governments already include rules designed to prevent cheating or ‘defeat devices’ in their regulatory frameworks. The technology also already exists to create clean, ultra-low emission vehicles. It is down to consumers, producers and policy makers to work together to force change in this area. This needs to happen urgently.