Paris plans ban on combustion-engine cars by 2030

Paris's mayor Anne Hidalgo arrives at place de la Bastille on a bicycle to attend the

The noise of vehicle engines enveloping the streets of the French capital might in the future become a memory for Paris pedestrians.

Soon, drivers will only have the option of using electric cars in Paris as authorities in the French capital have announced plans to remove all gas- and diesel-powered cars by 2030.

"This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gases", said Christophe Najdovski, a transportion policy expert in the office of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Hidalgo has angered many Parisians with her efforts to make Paris a greener city, notably by adding cycling paths that have slowed vehicle traffic along the Seine River.

Though advocates for auto owners have criticized her initiatives as being hostile to the working class, the Socialist mayor is intent on pushing her city's residents to get used to being less reliant on motor vehicles.

Wary of those critics, City Hall issued a statement Thursday insisting the 2030 deadline isn't an outright ban but "a feasible and realistic" goal. The statement added that Paris officials would keep discussing the issue with residents and auto makers in the coming months.

After an atmospheric phenomenon known as inversion occurred last March, "the pollution levels in Paris briefly topped those of Beijing", NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reported.

The move marks an acceleration in plans to wean the country 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.

Hidalgo has been seeking to reduce pollution with a series of measures.

Cars that run on electricity would not be affected.

In September 2016, Paris authorities made a decision to close a 3.5 kilometer (2.2- mile) downtown road and transform it into a promenade. A year later, however, the agency measuring air pollution said the move had no significant impact on residents' exposure to carbon emissions citywide.

On the heels of France and the United Kingdom announcing plans to phase out sales of combustion-engined cars by 2040, the state of California is mulling a similar move much earlier than the 2040 target date, .

"If we want to achieve it, we need to get out of petrol and diesel several years beforehand in urban areas, particularly in big cities", the city said.



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