Jordan can learn from London to fix its killer air pollution problem


Published: 2017-10-24 10:08

Last Updated: 2017-10-24 11:18

Editor: Arwad Khalifeh

Thick clouds of black smoke are a serious problem in Jordan. (The Jordan Times)
Thick clouds of black smoke are a serious problem in Jordan. (The Jordan Times)

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants Londoners to breathe better, which is why he has launched the T-Charge.

The T-Charge imposes a daily fee of $28.40 on the most-polluting vehicles wishing to enter Central London, reported The Evening Standard.

Since Monday, drivers with Pre-Euro 4 vehicles that run on more polluting petrol and diesel were made to pay the charge, in addition to the Congestion Charge.

Pre-Euro 4 applies to vehicles registered before 2006.

The initiative is one that should be adopted by countries everywhere, including Jordan.

According to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers, “Amman is the only municipality reporting to the World Health Organization and has high levels of particulate matter contributing to poor air quality.”

Many areas in Amman suffer from high levels of air pollution due to buses and pickup trucks not using filters on their exhausts, which causes other drivers to unwillingly drive into poisonous clouds of fumes.


Khan’s decision comes as part of preparing the British capital’s residents for the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which “he is proposing to introduce as early as April 2019,” according to to The Independent.

He said: “As Mayor I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London's lethal air. The shameful scale of the public health crisis London faces, with thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution, must be addressed.

“This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe.”

While Khan is hoping that Londoners will eventually ditch their old polluting cars for cleaner ones, how can Jordanians follow suit?

If a charge isn't going to be introduced, other measures must be taken.

Seeing as the cost of old and new cars in the Kingdom is significantly higher than that of UK vehicles, Jordanians can help reduce air pollution by opting to buy electric and hybrid cars.

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Banks will need to cooperate with drivers to help the environment, by offering special low-interest rates on loans taken out for the purchase of those car types.

The government is already helping by offering minimal tax on electric cars, and large discounts on hybrid cars.