TRUE - The Real Urban Emissions Initiative

Web Name: TRUE - The Real Urban Emissions Initiative






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Remote sensing is a developing technology which has the potential to generate important insights into the real-world emissions of the vehicles on our streets. TRUE uses remote sensing data, together with data from other sources, to help inform policymakers, regulators, consumers and manufacturers on these emission levels.

This short video explains how the remote sensing technology works, and what the data it generates shows.

Poor air quality is a major issue. Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) is a key contributor to outdoor air pollution. Long-term exposure to high levels of NOx is linked to a range of adverse health outcomes, including respiratory conditions, as well as stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. New research by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates that 11,400 early deaths in Europe each year are linked to ‘excess’ diesel NOx emissions – emissions under real-world driving conditions above legal limits.

Vehicles contribute around 50% of urban NOx in major cities such as London and Paris. However, policies to address their contribution are complicated by the huge gaps which exist between the tested and real world values for these emissions. The ‘Dieselgate’ scandal which broke in 2015 provided concrete evidence of the gap between real world vehicle emissions and emissions produced under vehicle compliance tests. This gap had been documented in other ways and at other times, but the deliberate cheat which was inherent in that scandal gave huge prominence to the issue.

Wider concerns about the quality of urban air, its impact on the health of millions of people, and the evidence of early deaths and chronic illnesses caused by vehicle pollutants is the context for urgent action to address this issue.

Latest TRUE Initiative News

TRUE submits evidence supporting further London ULEZ expansion
Blog |July 29, 2022

TRUE submits evidence supporting further London ULEZ expansion

International Air Quality and Climate Solutions Summit highlights policy impact of TRUE
Blog |July 21, 2022

International Air Quality and Climate Solutions Summit highlights policy impact of TRUE

TRUE rating emissions update: Petrol vehicle deterioration and new diesel improvements fall short
Blog |June 30, 2022

TRUE rating emissions update: Petrol vehicle deterioration and new diesel improvements fall short

TRUE remote sensing campaign begins in Mexico City
Blog |April 20, 2022

TRUE remote sensing campaign begins in Mexico City

In 2016 The FIA Foundation – which is working to reduce air pollution from vehicles as part of its safe, clean, fair and green mobility agenda -held an expert seminar to plan a response to the Dieselgate emissions scandal. A key conclusion of the discussion which is contained within the report ‘Can we prevent another Dieselgate?’ was:

“an independent, global, real-world testing initiative is a necessary, important step towards providing improved consumer information regarding emissions.”

The TRUE initiative exists to address this conclusion through collection of real world data on vehicle emissions, research and advocacy. Learn more in our leaflet 'The Real Urban Emissions Initiative - TRUE: Exposing real-world vehicle emissions'.

Impacts of a low-emission zone in Sofia

This report uses real-world emissions and activity data to examine the emissions reductions that could be achieved through an LEZ under different assumptions regarding the behavior of affected drivers.

Find out more

“The toxicity of the air in London and many other big cities is an outrage, and schemes of the type we are introducing in London and Paris have the potential to make a massive difference to the quality of the air we all breathe.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London


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© 2022 The Real Urban Emissions Initiative

60 Trafalgar Square
United Kingdom

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