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Vice-Chancellor's Fellow James Palmer publishes two articles about “dieselgate” just as Bristol council votes to ban diesel cars in first for a UK city

11 November 2019

Bristol is to become the first UK city to ban diesel cars from its streets as part of action to tackle illegal levels of air pollution and James Palmer's research has a lot to contribute to considering how we tackle this issue.

James states in his first paper, Clearing the air after “dieselgate”: Time for European regulators to experiment with participatory governance published in The Geographical Journal, that "Since it erupted in 2015, the so‐called “dieselgate” scandal has revealed severe shortcomings in car manufacturers’ efforts to reduce the impacts of driving on both global climate change and local air quality. In the European Union context, this controversy has raised questions about the trustworthiness of carmakers, and about the accuracy of the emissions measurements upon which key regulation is currently based.....we suggest that European regulators stand to gain much from adopting a more open and responsive position towards citizens’ concerns about vehicle emissions, as well as the plurality of forms of knowledge and experience upon which they are based. 

In his subsequent paper, Geographies of expertise in the dieselgate scandal: From a politics of accuracy to a politics of acceptability? published in Royal Geographical Society Journal AREAhe contends that "the full political potential of dieselgate can only be unlocked by inventing new logics of counting and categorisation that might force us to think differently about how best to partition, label, measure, and ultimately govern the inherently messy practices from which individual acts of driving – and hence vehicle emissions – emerge in the first place."

The papers in full:

Clearing the air after “dieselgate”: Time for European regulators to experiment with participatory governance

Geographies of expertise in the dieselgate scandal: From a politics of accuracy to a politics of acceptability?

Guardian Article about Bristol City ban

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