A statement from Professor Richard Folkson, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, has been issued in response to former UK science minister Lord Drayson’s recent criticism of diesel cars. Read the statement in full below.
“We should not be responding to the Volkswagen crisis with knee-jerk reactions. This is the time to look closely at the information as it emerges and take more considered views on the best way forward. We should not be rushing to scrap diesel cars when they clearly make a considerable contribution to reducing carbon emissions in the UK. If all new fossil fuel cars were to be solely petrol tomorrow for example, our average carbon emissions would increase by 16%. That cannot be in our interests as we approach COP21 in Paris in December, where we are seeking to limit our impact on climate change.
“What we need is a rapid introduction of a new testing regime that much more accurately reflects driver behavior. That way we will have the accurate and transparent data to allow consumers to make informed choices. We engineers should then carry on doing what we have been doing successfully for the last 40 years, which is to improve both the engines and the exhaust treatment systems to mean emissions for all engine types continue to reduce. Diesel has many attractive characteristics which means it is going to be part of that progress. This is not the time to restrict our choices by casting it aside.”
October 7, 2015