Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City mayors pledged to ban diesel vehicles in the coming decade to improve air quality, urging other cities to follow suit.
The mayors, during the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico, said diesel-powered cars and trucks will be off the roads by 2025 and said they will be offering incentives for alternative-power vehicles and promoting walking and bicycling.
“Mayors have already stood up to say that the climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face,” said Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris and new chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “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.”
Clean-air advocates welcomed the announcement, saying it shows world leaders are heeding the pollution warnings.
“This shows political leaders across the world are waking up to the damage diesel is doing to our health. But 2025 is a long time away when you consider the 467,000 premature deaths caused by air pollution in Europe every year,” Alan Andrews, lawyer at NGO ClientEarth, said.
Diesel fuel used in engines produces harmful gases including nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants.