Stewart McDonald MP wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, after it was revealed new diesel cars' emissions were far higher on the road than in lab tests.
He asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on assessing the effect on air quality and levels of emissions from motor vehicles of data published by Emissions Analytics and the Department for Transport on the level of emissions from new diesel cars.
In response, Rory Stewart MP, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:
"Tackling air quality is a priority for this Government and we are committed to meeting air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide in the shortest possible time. Defra and the Department for Transport work closely together at all levels to embed air quality considerations in the development of transport policy and delivery, including in relation to vehicle emissions. The inter-Ministerial group on Clean Growth meets as and when required and its members include Ministers and officials from the relevant departments, including Defra and the Department for Transport.
"The Government’s comprehensive National Air Quality Plan (www.gov.uk/government/publications/air-quality-in-the-uk-plan-to-reduce-nitrogen-dioxide-emissions), published in December last year, is based on the best available evidence and uses the latest COPERT (Computer Programme to Calculate Emissions from Road Transport) (4v11) factors to calculate emissions from diesel cars.
"In May, the Government will present the results of its vehicle testing programme (www.gov.uk/government/publications/vehicle-emissions-testing-programme-conclusions) to European Research for Mobile Emission Sources (ERMES), the body responsible for collating vehicle emission data, to inform its updated emissions factors later this year. This will ensure that EU-wide emission factors more accurately reflect the difference between real world driving and laboratory test conditions."