“The continuing concerns around air quality show that we still have a lot of ground to cover to achieve the desired reductions,” says Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, in response to Prof Dame Sally Davies’ report on the impacts of daily pollution on people’s health.
“The recent cold snap has led to an increase in energy use across the system and the need to manage our gas supplies, thereby increasing coal use.
“One area where the Government and industry could work together more is in improving energy efficiency in homes, and with businesses in order to reduce the demand for gas.
“Efficiency, at the top of the energy hierarchy, can include insulating buildings and innovating appliances and processes that operate using less fuel.
“Earlier this year the Institution released A Breath of Fresh Air, New Solutions to Reduce Transport Emissions, where we recommended that the Government introduce a national monitoring system, across the different types of transport, recording all types of pollution, to create a coherent picture against which national targets can be set.
“In addition to this, we recommended that the Government incentivise cleaner technologies and encourage the phase-out of legacy vehicles with poor emissions record across the network, for example diesel cars and trains.
“This will reduce the levels of greenhouse gas and particulate emissions in our cities.”