By Aaron Kesel
As part of the plan to begin phasing out gas and diesel car sales over the next three decades, drivers of diesel vehicles and older petrol cars in the UK will now face a tax called T-Charge for driving into the financial district and parts of west London, Reuters reported.
Drivers are already charged 11.50 pounds ($15) under a congestion charge. But those driving petrol and diesel vehicles typically before 2006 will now need to pay an additional 10 pounds ($13.19). That means if you have an older vehicle before 2006 or a diesel vehicle you will be paying a total of 21.50 pounds or ($28.19) just to get into the city.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed that the new T-Charge taxation will help motorists to switch to a greener alternative and in turn save thousands of lives a year.
“The air is bad, but it’s also a killer,” Khan told Reuters. “There are children in London whose lungs are underdeveloped. There are adults who suffer a whole host of conditions caused by the poor quality air from asthma to dementia to suffering strokes.”
The tax will apply on up to 34,000 vehicles every month, a low percentage of the total number of vehicles that come into the area which is 535,000 according to the news publication.
This comes as California in the U.S. announced an outright ban on fossil fuel cars in hopes of reducing carbon emissions. Similar to China and France — all of which plan to phase out gas and diesel car sales over the next three decades as a part of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
Britain has also announced that by the year 2040 all new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned from purchase by consumers. So the T-Charge tax is just a step towards pushing that agenda on its citizenry starting first in London. The tax is a part of a larger initiative known as the clean air plan which hopes to establish “clean air zones” (CAZ), The Guardian reported.
The government previously said that any taxation would be a last resort and they would look for local plans first.
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“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,” a government spokesman said.
“That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”
A judge previously ruled the government’s original plans on tackling the issue, which included five CAZs, were illegal. The government was then asked to present a new draft policy to tackle air pollution from diesel traffic that new policy added a potential 27 CAZs. That means that the UK government is proposing taxation on 27 other areas within the country. The UK Treasury has also blocked plans to charge diesel cars to enter towns and cities overwhelmed with air pollution, citing concerns about the political impact of angering motorists.
A carbon tax in Europe was imposed in 2012 which charges airlines emissions fees for all flights that cross the continent.
The finalized version of the UK plans to curb carbon emissions is expected by 2018. Meanwhile, in the U.S. eleven companies are also planning to push for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, as a way of tackling the threat of climate change that “embodies the conservative principles of free markets and limited government,” Financial Times reported.
It is worth noting that a global carbon tax was once seen as a conspiracy theory despite Exxon pushing it as early as 2009. One year later in 2010 UN documents were leaked to Fox News which showed the elite wanted to use global warming as “overpopulation” as a means of dismantling the middle classes while using “global redistribution of wealth.” All by using richer countries through carbon taxes and then using that money to bankroll the construction of a world government.
Then before the Paris Agreement, there were climate talks held in Copenhagen which third world countries walked out of after discovering that developed nations would take on less of a burden than anticipated with the CO2 tax while demanding more from poorer countries. It was also revealed by billionaire George Soros that the poor countries would have to take on “green loans” which would mean they would be in further debt with financial institutions like the IMF.
Seven years later and it looks like the plan is being carried out despite being denied and ridiculed as a “conspiracy theory.”