Sadiq Khan has expressed his intention to closely observe the impact of the Paris initiative that aims to increase fees for SUVs.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he will observe the impact of Paris’ proposal to raise parking fees for SUVs, pending its approval through a referendum.
During an event, Khan expressed apologies on behalf of the Greater London Authority to the family of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who passed away in 2013 at the age of nine due to the polluted air in London.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has expressed her desire to ban SUVs from the city in order to decrease emissions and improve air quality. In December, she announced this policy, stating that it is a matter of fairness. A referendum will be held on Sunday to determine if residents support implementing a specific parking fee for SUVs that are heavy, large, and environmentally harmful.
Khan expressed approval of Hidalgo’s proposal and stated that he would monitor its progress. He explained to the Guardian that he regularly evaluates policies from around the world and believes in adopting successful ones. Instead of creating ineffective policies, he prefers to replicate those that have been proven to work in other cities.
Khan acknowledged that SUVs were a pressing issue that required attention. He stated, “SUVs occupy a larger amount of space and we are aware of the problems surrounding road safety and carbon emissions. Some London councils have implemented strong measures such as increasing parking fees and issuing tickets. It is beneficial to collaborate with these councils.”
A representative for Khan clarified to the Guardian that the mayor does not currently possess the authority to enforce parking fees on SUVs and has no intentions of doing so in the future.
According to research, SUVs are contributing to the increase in transportation pollution. Even though they are marketed as vehicles built for rough terrain and heavy towing, studies have revealed that 75% of new SUVs purchased in the UK are owned by individuals living in cities. A recent study discovered that the growing popularity of SUVs, coupled with their heavier weight compared to traditional models, has resulted in the average conventional car purchased in 2023 emitting more carbon than its 2013 counterpart.
Ella was a resident of Lewisham, a neighborhood in south-east London near the South Circular Road. At the age of seven, she developed asthma, which caused her to experience difficulty breathing and necessitated frequent trips to the hospital. Sadly, just a few weeks after her ninth birthday, she passed away from a severe asthma attack.
In December of 2020, the coroner determined that air pollution was a factor in Ella’s passing. As a result, her death certificate was the first in the world to list it as a contributing cause of death.
Rosamund, the mother of Ella, stated that justice would be achieved for her daughter once the UK government implements robust air quality regulations in order to avoid other children experiencing a similar outcome.
She expressed gratitude towards the mayor for publicly apologizing on behalf of the city today. No amount of compensation can ever erase the intense anguish and hardship that Ella endured, and the loss of her in such circumstances has caused immense suffering for my family.
I have always strived to prevent other children from enduring the same pain as Ella did. My loved ones and I will persist in advocating for the well-being of all children, and with the help of everyone, we will eventually achieve justice for Ella Roberta.
Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is advocating for the implementation of “Ella’s law”, which aims to guarantee access to clean air and create a commission to monitor government efforts and advancements. The law would integrate measures for both indoor and outdoor air pollution, as well as strategies to address the climate crisis, and would require regular assessments based on current scientific findings.
Khan stated that if a Labour government were in power, they would implement this legislation. He mentioned that the Labour party backed the private member’s bill, which was initiated by Jenny Jones, a Green peer in the House of Lords. He criticized the current government for delaying action and only agreeing to the bill after 18 years.