Parisians are taking another step to stave off pollution and carbon emissions.
Paris’ city council, after months of discussion, announced Thursday that the city would move to eliminate the sale of cars powered by diesel and gasoline by 2030. The popular tourist destination has taken multiple steps to reduce car emissions for years, including an annual car-free day, when motorists are banned from city roads.
Residents of the historic city are already more likely to use other forms of transportation, since 60 percent of Parisians don’t own cars. The ban is just one of many efforts to “go green” in the city, including a $25 billion infrastructure plan called the Grand Paris Express, to expand the Paris Métro.
The efforts to promote electric vehicles and public transportation are in response to a massive pollution problem in Paris.
“Ninety percent of people in Paris are exposed daily to levels of nitrogen oxides, the worst local pollutants, which are higher than the limits set by the European Union,” Deputy Mayor Christophe Najdovski told the BBC last year. “This is a serious public health issue. That’s what lies behind the very strong action we are taking against the causes of pollution, and in Paris, the main cause is road traffic.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo plans to eliminate the sale of diesel cars by 2024, The Associated Press reports, when the city is set to hold the Olympics. France had already dedicated itself to banning gas-powered cars by 2040, but Hidalgo wants to move faster in Paris.
“This government goal affects the whole French territory, rural zones included,” a Paris City Hall statement obtained by AP said. “If we want to achieve this, it implies that the end of diesel and gasoline should take place several years in advance in urban areas, and particularly in big cities.”