London launches low emission zone

The capital of the UK became a "low emission zone" on Monday, as transport officials launched a campaign to cut traffic pollution and improve London's air quality, which ranks among the worst in Europe.

The scheme uses a network of cameras to monitor the emissions of large diesel lorries and impose heavy fines on those exceeding EU exhaust limits, reports said.

Improving the air quality, transport officials were quoted saying, will help millions of London residents, especially those suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems.

In a separate statement on Monday, former chairman of oil company Shell, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, said that the EU should ban the sale of new cars that do under 35 miles to the gallon. Making people with less fuel-efficient cars pay more in road and fuel tax, he said, would allow the rich to avoid responsibility for climate change.

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