Diesel vehicles will be removed from Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens by 2025, as part of effort by mayors to improve the quality of air for their citizens.
These cities also pledged to incentivize alternative vehicles and promote walking and cycling infrastructure. The commitment was made last week at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City. Worldwide, 3 million deaths each year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution according to WHO, with the vast majority of these deaths occurring in cities.
“Mayors have already stood up to say that the climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face,” Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and new Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, said in a statement. “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.”
Citizens of cities across the world are joining the call for cleaner air through a global petition demanding that vehicle manufacturers lead an air quality transformation. They are urging the companies to stop producing diesel vehicles by 2025 and to support a rapid transition to electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles.
“It is no secret that in Mexico City, we grapple with the twin problems of air pollution and traffic,” Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said in a statement. “By expanding alternative transportation options like our Bus Rapid Transport and subway systems, while also investing in cycling infrastructure, we are working to ease congestion in our roadways and our lungs.”
Pursuing policies that improve air quality – decarbonizing transportation systems and promoting alternative transportation options – also help cities deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement.
“The quality of the air that we breathe in our cities is directly linked to tackling climate change,” Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena said in a statement. “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.”
“Our goal is to ultimately remove all cars from the centre of Athens in the years to come," Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said in a statement. “I support the bold ambition of the 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."