LONDON: A Russian environment minister believes London’s new T-charge will “speed-up” the switch to electric vehicles as he praised the capital as a leader in green policies.
Anton Kulbachevsky, head of Moscow’s department for environmental management and protection, said the Russian capital wanted to “follow the example” of London but was still at the “preliminary” stage when it came to traffic pollution measures.
Mayor Sadiq Khan is introducing the £10-a-day T-charge on the most polluting vehicles driving into the city centre from October 23.
Mr Kulbachevsky said: “London is a leader among big cities, in particular at finding solutions to environmental issues. The future is electric vehicles. This is the direction everyone is going.
“Infrastructure, charging points are the greatest difficulties. Gradual policies can reduce pollution and improve air quality. We have to think of the impact on industry, but the charge can speed-up gradual policies and bring change faster.”
An Ultra Low Emission Zone will be introduced in 2019 in central London, with a charge of £12.50, before being expanded to include the north and south circulars.
Moscow, which has labelled 2017 as the “year of the environment” has also introduced measures to tackle air pollution including restricting older lorries in the capital’s centre.
Mr Kulbachevsky was in the UK for a Moscow-London: Green Cities summit to promote co-operation between the two capitals.