Cityscapes filled with smog are a common scene across the globe. This is a problem that for decades, some large cities have battled and four mayors late last week announced they are taking drastic action.
The mayors of Athens, Madrid, Mexico City and Paris have all said they want to ban all diesel vehicles from their city roadways by 2025.
This pledge, made at the 2016 C40 Mayor Summit held last week in Mexico City is part of an effort around the world by city leaders to battle issues related to climate change.
This proactive approach is being driven due to need. Cities suffer disproportionately from alarming levels of air pollution and are host to over half of the population in the world.
Over the past few years, global conferences have been held by the United Nations that convene leaders of cities to discuss the different climate issues saying cities will win or lose the war for sustainable development.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world faces today said world mayors. Today, said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo we also must stand up and no longer tolerate our air pollution and related deaths and health problems that it causes.
Cities are responsible as well for the majority of the pollution of the world. Urban areas across the globe represent less than 2% of the Earth’s overall surface area, but use up almost 80% of the energy and produce more than 60% of the entire CO2 and other emissions, says the UN.
Vehicles powered by diesel engines might be a popular target for regulations because of the pollutants they produce, linked to a number of health and environmental impacts.
Diesel engine vehicles were touted first as being a more fuel-efficient, low carbon emission source. However, new research found it also emits PM or particle matter as well as nitrogen oxides, with both being linked to a number of cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
The impact that is most obvious however, might be how the pollution ruins the view and makes it difficult to breathe the air.
For example, Paris has seen the Eiffel Tower, it famous landmark shrouded almost completely in smog the past few years.
Hidalgo in response implemented regulations that banned any diesel vehicle made prior to 2011 from entering Paris city limits by 2020.
India has taken steps of a similar nature in Delhi just this month. In Seoul, the implementation of diesel restrictions began in 2017.
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