Members of the UK government have proposed offering subsidies to people who scrap their diesel vehicles in favor of cars that emit less nitrogen-dioxide, Bloomberg News says, citing a report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. Such a policy would be an expansion of current efforts that focus on scrapping vehicles that spew out higher CO2 emissions in order to improve air quality. Committee Chairman Huw Irranca-Davie called such a policy a potential "short cut" to addressing the UK's pollution issues.
Some members of the UK government have been rumbling about pushing for stricter mandates against diesels since the beginning of the year. In February, Shadow Environment Minister Barry Gardiner of the UK's liberal Labour Party said the UK's policy to measure vehicle taxes on CO2 levels wrongly pushed more people towards diesel vehicles. And in April, the UK's Telegraph said the idea of eventually banishing diesel vehicles from UK roads had been proposed by the government, though the idea hadn't been pursued in public since.
While Bloomberg didn't specifically mention the Volkswagen diesel issue, the idea of incentivizing people to get rid of their diesel vehicles certainly gained relevance after Volkswagen admitted that as many as 11 million of its diesel vehicles around the world contain software programmed to cheat emissions-testing systems.