According to a new report, diesel cars have caused thousands of premature deaths in Europe in the past few years. These deaths could have been avoided if countries had met anti-pollution standards. The recently published paper comes almost two years after the Volkswagen scandal, in which the German car maker was caught cheating on emission tests.
Europe is a continent with about a hundred million diesel-driven vehicles, almost twice as many as in all the other countries of the world combined. Years ago governments and car makers encouraged consumers to buy diesel cars because they were cheaper, used less fuel and produced less carbon dioxide. Many governments also offered tax reductions if people bought diesel cars. What has not been known until now is that diesel cars produce more nitrogen oxides, which may cause lung diseases.
Italy, Germany and France were the countries that recorded the most premature deaths from diesel-polluted vehicles. Especially diesel trucks that drive in densely populated areas contribute to the high level of pollution.
The Volkswagen scandal also shown that emission tests are not accurate and that in some cases diesel vehicles emit up to 4 times more substances than they do when tested in a lab.
Since the scandal broke , governments in Europe and elsewhere have been trying to get people to buy more petrol-driven cars. They have become more efficient than diesel vehicles and the difference in prices are not not as high any more.
- according to = as said by …
- accurate = detailed; exact
- anti-pollution standards = laws that are made to keep pollution levels in a country low
- avoid = stop ; not happen
- carbon dioxide = gas that is produced when animal or people breathe out or when carbon is burned in the air
- cheat = here: to trick people and not tell them the truth
- combined = together
- contribute = to help make something happen
- densely populated = when many people live in a small area
- efficient = if something works well
- emission test = testing how much gas or dirty substances are sent into the air
- emit = send into the atmosphere
- encourage = to say that people should do something
- especially = above all
- fuel = liquid used to produce energy and make a car drive
- government = the people who rule a country
- nitrogen oxide = combination of nitrogen and oxygen
- paper = report
- petrol-driven = run with normal petrol, not diesel
- premature = something that happens before the natural time
- record = write down information
- substance = material
- tax reduction = to pay less tax than you normally would
- vehicle = machine with an engine that is used to transport people or products