Smog Engulfs Mexico City while Daimler Fights for Lenient Norms
Published On Jun 28, 2016
After several countries including China and India have struggled with the issue of severe smog, it is the turn of Mexico to face the heat. Mexico City is facing the worst smog in 14 years and the government has come up with new emission norms to curb the rising smog levels. In the meanwhile, truck makers including Daimler AG which is Mexico’s leading heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer, are calling for less stringent controls as the new norms can increase the cost of the trucks.
Smog has been a silent killer in Mexico City, claiming 2,700 lives each year. Also, ozone levels have been reported as the maximum this year since 2002, causing the government to impose restrictions.
The new norms, published in 2014, to curb emissions in trucks and buses, were stalled shortly afterwards by CV makers. Expressing her disagreement on this action by CV makers, Katherine Blumberg, member of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), said, “They have been pushing for delays and interim standards, which could actually make emissions from these vehicles worse.”
However, according to Daimler and other truck manufacturers, the government should impose more extensive regulations, such as replacing the current fleet of aging trucks, provide subsidies and slow the expensive new emission norms.
Daimler also argues if the trucks comply with the new regulations, the prices for the vehicles will increase as much as 20 percent, raising the purchasing costs to a new high. This may affect truck sales substantially and lead to a significant impact on the commercial vehicle market.
This difference of opinion among the government and truck makers is doing no good for the 20 million residents who have to bear the brunt of the rising pollution levels on a daily basis. The smog is so thick that it even blankets the 18,000 feet volcanoes around the capital city. As the CV makers are fighting for a win-win situation, the government should reach a middle ground and look towards resolving the issue amicably with Daimler AG and other leading brands.