Worsening road congestion is increasing pollution in cities
The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have pledged to ban diesel vehicles from their respective cities by 2025.
Speaking yesterday at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City, the leaders said they’d also work to further incentivise the uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles and improve infrastructure for walking and cycling.
Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris and the new chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, said: “Mayors have already stood up to say that the 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. Big problems like air pollution require bold action, and we call on car and bus manufacturers to join us.”
The four mayors called for more global leaders to recognise the health risks of growing urban populations, citing World Health Organisation research that calculated three million deaths per year can be linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution.
Manuela Carmena, mayor of Madrid, said: "The quality of the air that we breathe in our cities is directly linked to tackling climate change.
“As we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated in our cities, our air will become cleaner and our children, our grandparents and our neighbours will be healthier.”
Miguel Ángel Mancera, mayor of Mexico City, said he’d expand alternative transportation methods like his city's Bus Rapid Transport system and the subway, “while also investing in cycling infrastructure” to ease congestion.
Giorgos Kaminis, mayor of Athens, said: “Our goal is to ultimately remove all cars from the centre of Athens in the years to come. I support the bold ambition of the [Greek] Air Quality Declaration and call on our partners in the national government to implement their commitments based on the international climate action agreements and to join our common effort to clean the air that we breathe."
The leaders’ announcements come two months after all sixteen German states voiced their intention to ban both petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Germany aims to have 300,000 electric cars on its roads by 2019, and half a million the following year. By 2030, it hopes to have six million electrified vehicles – hybrids and pure EVs – on its roads.
Earlier this year, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) called for London mayor Sadiq Khan to ban diesel vehicles from the UK capital in order to meet his target of a 60% reduction in emissions by 2025. Since then, Khan has announced a new £10 Toxicity Charge for the city, which targets pre-Euro 4 vehicles - mostly cars registered before 2005.