Planning to be a leader in environmental protection, the City of Paris authorities announced a plan to banish all petrol- and diesel-fueled cars from the world’s most visited city by 2030. The move marks an acceleration in plans to wean Parisians off gas-guzzlers and switch to electric vehicles in a city often obliged to impose temporary bans due to surges in particle pollution in the air. Paris City Hall stated that France had already set a target date of 2040 for an end to cars dependent on fossil fuels and that this plan also required speedier phase-outs in large cities.
The French capital, which will host the Olympic Games in the summer of 2024 and was host city for the latest worldwide pact on policies to tame global warming, has already been eyeing an end to diesel cars in the city by the time of the Olympics. Already under attack over the establishment of no-car zones, Paris City Hall has established car-free days and fines for drivers who enter the city in cars that are more than 20 years old. Downplaying the use of the word “ban,” the plan is designed to introduce a feasible deadline by which combustion-engine cars would be phased out.
There are about 32 million household cars in France, where the population is about 66 million.Many Parisians do not own cars, relying on extensive public transport systems and, increasingly, fast-burgeoning networks offering bikes, scooters and low-pollution hybrid engine cars for short-term rental. The ban on petrol-fueled, or gasoline-engine vehicles as they are known in the United States, marks a radical escalation of anti-pollution policy. Many other cities in the world are considering similar moves and China, the world’s biggest polluter after the United States, recently announced that it would soon be seeking to get rid of combustion-engine cars too.