§ Lord Stoddart of Swindon
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are their most recent estimates of the impact of vehicle emissions on the environment and of the damage which they cause to property. [HL3642]
§ Lord Whitty
Estimates for the environmental benefits of existing and additional measures including road transport measures proposed in the review of the national air quality strategy were published in January 1999 inAn economic analysis of the National Air Quality Strategy Objectives: An Interim Report.
This is available at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/nags/ea.
The non-health impacts of vehicle emissions will vary from place to place and pollutant to pollutant. For instance, road transport makes a significant contribution to urban concentrations of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), varying between 70 and 90 per cent of annual mean concentrations at roadside locations and 50 to 71 per cent of NOx concentrations at urban background locations. These emissions will contribute to adverse effects on buildings, materials, terrestrial ecosystems, such as crops and forest, aquatic ecosystems and visibility, but the impacts have not been explicitly calculated. It should also be noted that it is very difficult to place an economic value on some of these impacts.
Defra has commissioned a study to evaluate the Air Quality Strategy 2000 by assessing the effectiveness of selected air quality policies in the transport and electricity supply sectors, in terms of improvements to air quality and consequent health and other environmental benefits. The results are expected to be published in autumn 2004.