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一直以来,有关禁止销售柴油车与汽油车的政策总是能抢占头条。

The decision to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars was always going to grab the headlines.

但是政府或许并不太愿意让民众意识到,这种看似‘爆炸性’的举动或许根本没有什么实质性的效果。

But the Government is perhaps less keen forpeople to know that this apparently shocking move may not actually achieveanything at all.

其原因是只有在2040年之后人们才能看到这一举动的成效,然而那时主要竞争市场可能已经从化石燃料汽车转向为电动汽车。

For it will only take effect in 2040, bywhich time market forces are likely to have largely completed the transitionfrom fossil fuels to electricity-powered vehicles anyway.

这一迹象表明迈克尔·格罗斯(环境部长)将更加严肃的对待这一问题,这项曾在2011年宣布执行的禁令已被他交付委员会进行再次审议。在此之前,前任环境部长曾被两度要求想出一个更好的计划,以此能让我们呼吸的空气打到最低安全标准。

While it could be a sign that Michael Gove,the Environment Secretary, is taking the issue more seriously, the recommitmentto the ban, which was originally announced in 2011, comes after hispredecessors were twice ordered by a judge to come up with a better plan tobring the air we breathe into line with minimum safety standards.

并且在今年年初,欧盟对英国发布“最后警告”,要求其遵守七年来一直置之不理的空气质量法。

And, earlier this year, the European Unionissued the UK with its “final warning” to comply with air quality laws thathave been breached for seven years.

世界环境组织基金会的气候与能源政策主要负责人加盟斯·蒙德瑞德-金表示,这项禁令或许听起来不错,但是可能无功而终。

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate andenergy policy at environmental group WWF, said the ban might sound good but endup being meaningless.

“英国政府在过去的七年中并没有遵守法令然后它给自己制定了这样一个目标:这条禁令会得到履行,即使政府毫无作为。”

“The Government’s been failing to complywith this law for seven years and then is setting itself a target so far in thefuture that it will be delivered even if the Government did nothing,” he toldThe Independent.

“市场中的所有迹象都表明,这种情况真的将会发生。”

“The signs are all there in the market thatthis is going to happen anyway.

“这条禁令太过遥远而且毫无斗志…它并没有给市场与汽车制造商传递什么重大信号··”

“The ban is so far away and so unambitious…it’s not sending a big signal to the market and to the car manufacturers.”

这一观点得到约克大学国家大气中心的阿拉斯泰尔·刘易斯教授响应。

That point was echoed by Professor AlastairLewis, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at York University.

“鉴于过去十年间电力载具技术的发展速度,私有车上的小型内燃机将在没有任何政府干预的情况下消失。”他说。

“Given the rate of improvement in batteryand electric vehicle technology over the last 10 years, by 2040 smallcombustion engines in private cars could well have disappeared without anyGovernment intervention,” he said.

他强调关于改善英国空气质量的经济主张会“势不可挡”。

He stressed the economic arguments forimproving the UK’s air quality were “overwhelming”.

“降低生产力与英国国民健康保险制度的开销以经济成本计算将是每年几十亿英镑,并且随着老龄化,这一数据将会继续上升。”刘易斯教授如是说到。

“The costs to the economy, through lostproductivity and costs to the NHS are measured in the billions of pounds peryear, and could well increase further with an ageing population,” ProfessorLewis said.

但是在他口中这条“具有高度象征意义的”禁令依然不能解决任何问题。

But the ban, which he said was “highlysymbolic”, will not solve the problem entirely.

“虽然电动车没有直接的尾气排放,但是刹车与轮胎摩擦依旧会使路面产生扬尘,从而产生微粒物质。”

“Electric vehicles have no direct tailpipeemissions but they are still a source of particulate matter from brake and tyrewear and through agitating road dust,” Professor Lewis said.

“除了交通,还有许多其他的城市污染源,列如供暖、建造、国内排放和由外部流入城市的污染源,特别是农业部门。”

“There still remain many other urbansources of pollution not only from transport, but also heating, construction,domestic emissions, and external sources of pollution that drift into citiesfrom outside, most notably from the agricultural sector.  

其他的一些城市污染源甚至还在不断扩展,其中最显著的是薪柴炉。

“Some other urban sources of pollution areeven on an upwards trend, most notably from wood burning stoves.”

鉴于最近交通部长格雷林的在建立道路交通网这一计划中的电力部分被阉割了,铁路局对政府的这一计划同样十分不满。

Rail unions also condemned the Government’splan in light of the recent scrapping of plans to electrify parts of the railnetwork by Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary.

运输工会秘书长米克·卡西认为最新宣布的禁令“搁置长期以来道路电气化的工作暴露了他们的虚伪”。

Mick Cash, RMT’s general secretary, saidthe newly announced ban “exposes the rank hypocrisy of their decision to shelvelong-planned rail electrification works”.

“在即将召开的新闻发布会中,我们将不会掩盖废弃道路现代化这一计划的事实,”他说。

“Puffed up news announcements about plansthat are a generation away will not mask the reality of scrapped modernisationprogrammes on our railways in the here and now,” he said.

去年,世界卫生组织的一份报告发现英国的是个城市,包括伦敦、格拉斯哥、利兹、诺丁汉、南安普顿和牛津,已经超过了PM10等微小颗粒物安全水平。此外39个城市地区的微小颗粒浓度(即PM2.5)也超过了安全标准。

Last year, a World Health Organisationreport found 10 towns and cities in the UK, including London, Glasgow, Leeds,Nottingham, Southampton and Oxford, had breached what are regarded as safelevels of tiny particles known as PM10. And 39 urban areas also breached thesafe levels for a smaller measure of particles, known as PM2.5.

一个由环境律师组成的组织‘地球客户’曾两次通过胜诉强迫政府实施一个更有效的方案来提高空气质量。他们指出政府在拖延这一计划——无论是过去还是将来。

ClientEarth, a group of environmentallawyers who twice won court orders forcing the Government to come up with abetter plan to improve air quality, pointed to the years of delay by theGovernment – in the past and the future.

地球客户中的一位空气质量律师安娜·荷鲁斯普说:“历届政府从未保护我们免受不达标的空气质量危害。”

Anna Heslop, a ClienthEarth air qualitylawyer, said: “Successive governments have failed to protect us from illegalair quality.

“迄今为止,我们依旧不得不屡次在法庭上挑战政府那一套羸弱而缺少持续性的空气质量政策,七年过去了,我们仍然在为保护民众的健康奋斗。”

“We’ve had to return repeatedly to court tochallenge the Government on its weak and incoherent air quality policies andyet, seven years on we are still having to fight to protect people’shealth.  

“英国政府一直在浪费时间与纳税人的血汗钱来捍卫这一毫无作用的计划,且并未采取必要的有力行动来应对这一公认的英国公共环境安全的最大危机。”

“The UK Government has been wasting timeand taxpayers money trying to defend the indefensible and failing to take therobust action necessary to deal with what it admits is the largestenvironmental risk to public health in the UK.

“占据头条的那项2040年禁止柴油与汽油车的禁令虽然看似受到追捧与拥护,实则对于现在面临的空气质量危机而言太过遥远。”

“The headline grabbing move to ban dieseland petrol vehicles by 2040 is, while welcome, way too distant to tackle theair quality crisis now.”