The Guardian | Four of world’s biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres

Photo credit: World Bank, Flickr.

Photo credit: World Bank, Flickr.

Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City will ban the most polluting cars and vans by 2025 to tackle air pollution.

Four of the world’s biggest cities are to ban diesel vehicles from their centres within the next decade, as a means of tackling air pollution, with campaigners urging other city leaders to follow suit.

The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City announced plans on Friday, 2 December 2016, to take diesel cars and vans off their roads by 2025.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, led the initiative at the C40 Conference of Mayors on climate change, taking place in Mexico this week. She said: “Mayors have already stood up to say that climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. Today, we also stand up to say we no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens.”

“Soot from diesel vehicles is among the big contributors to ill health and global warming,” added Helena Molin Valdés, head of the United Nations’ climate and clean air coalition, noting that more than nine out of 10 people around the globe live where air pollution exceeds World Health Organisation safety limits.

Miguel Ángel Mancera, mayor of Mexico City, said increasing investments in public transport would also help clean the city’s air, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Giorgos Kaminis, mayor of Athens, said his goal was to remove all cars from the city centre. The city authorities will also work with national governments and manufacturers, and promote electric vehicles and cleaner transport.

Recent research has uncovered the scale of the problem, with 3 million premature deaths a year attributed to dirty air, as well as millions of other illnesses, particularly in children.

Green campaigners welcomed the announcement, saying it showed that it was possible to clean up big cities.

Read more about the the pledge at: Four of world’s biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres