Politics

Rees-Mogg slams ‘great political scandal’ as he hits out at Labour and EU diesel stance

Jacob Rees-Mogg hits out at Labour for 'great diesel scandal'

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Jacob Rees-Mogg delivered a scathing attack against the Labour Party and the European Union over the car emission scandal during in the Commons on Thursday. Labour MP Barry Sheerman was slapped down by the Tory leader of the House of Commons after calling on the Government to do more to combat air pollution. Mr Rees-Mogg insisted the diesel emissions scandal of 2015 was “the greatest political scandal of modern history.”

He said: “The honourable gentleman is right to raise the issue of air pollution but he doesn’t mention the great diesel scandal.

“Diesel that was encouraged by the last Labour government of which he was a supporter, and by the European Union.

“With figures fiddled by European manufacturers to pretend that diesel emissions were less dangerous than in reality they are.

“It is to my mind the great scandal of modern political history.”

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This means drivers purchased cars with heavier pollution which were worth less than what owners paid for it.

Defeat devices were integrated into the car’s engine management system and are specifically designed to improve environmental performance in test conditions.

This reduced the number of emissions the car pumped out in a testing environment but did not representative of real driving

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It comes as a study this week revealed pollution from burning fossil fuels could account for nearly one in five deaths worldwide.

An estimated 99,000 deaths in 2012 were attributable to long-term exposure to harmful fine particles, known as PM2.5, emitted from fossil fuel sources such as vehicle engines.

The analysis puts the figure much higher than 2016 estimates of 40,000 early deaths linked to air pollution by the Royal College of Physicians.

Fossil fuel pollution was linked to 8.7 million deaths globally in 2018.

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The latest review was conducted by researchers from Harvard University in the US, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester and University College London (UCL).

Professor Eloise Marais, from UCL, said: “Our study adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health. We can’t in good conscience ­continue to rely on fossil fuels when we know that there are such severe effects on health and viable, cleaner alternatives.”

The scientists used a model that mapped where pollution is and where residents live to “know more exactly what people are breathing”, according to co-author Karn Vohra.

The researchers also developed a model that linked the concentration levels of particles from fossil fuel emissions to people’s health.

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