Mar. 23, PARIS: This morning, the number of cars allowed to drive in The City of Lights is being effectively reduced by half in order to mitigate what is being referred to as a “pollution crisis.”
Last week, Paris reportedly had the worst air quality in the world—even surpassing China’s notoriously noxious air. The Eiffel Tower was almost completely obscured in the smog.
In an effort to address this issue only cars with license plates ending in odd numbers, hybrid or electric cars, public transportation and cars carrying more than three people will be allowed on the roads.
In order to make this more affordable, public transportation (both in Paris and surrounding towns), electric vehicle and bike share programs are all free for the duration of the ban. (Though this isn’t the first time that this has had to happen in Paris.)
According to local media, roughly 750 police officers are patrolling the streets in order to enforce the new decree.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, has urged locals to carpool, and to use the hashtag #urgencepollution, or “pollution emergency.”
Ironically, and hopefully to the benefit of our climate, Paris is set to host the December U.N. Climate Summit. Perhaps this ongoing smog issue will prompt effective and lasting solutions to our oil addiction.
Koronowski, Ryan. “Paris will Dramatically Reduce Car Traffic to Fight Air Pollution Emergency.” Climate Progress. Web Accessed, 23 March 2015.
Author: Emma Ruffin
Photo: Screenshots of Tweets