- As of now, in 320 cities, EU increases low-emission zones to fight against pollution health emergency.
With the total number of clean air zones having increased by 40% across Europe since 2019, more and more old, polluting vehicles are being pushed off the continent’s roads, a new research based on latest EU data has found.
As pre reports, approximately 320 European cities have initiated Low-emission zones (LEZs), with the figure expected to escalate up to 507 by 2025.
Europe’s top ten popular tourist cities have now restricted petrol and diesel automobiles and seek to impose stricter rules within three years in existing LEZs including Brussels, Paris, London, and Berlin.
The research was conducted by Clean Cities Campaign, and its UK head, Oliver Lord stated that the cities like Bristol, London, and Birmingham which are embracing LEZs are moving in the right direction. Applauding the city leaders, he added that clean air zones are one of the most effective ways to manage toxic air by transforming the air we breathe and phasing out polluting cars.
Polluted air is the most dominant environmental threat to human health that can reduce almost two years from average life expectancy. As per World Health Organization, air pollution is a public health emergency that causes more than 3,00,000 premature deaths per year in the EU.
However, clean air zones have been greatly effective in dealing with this issue. For instance, in Madrid, after the introduction of LEZ in 2018, NO2 concentration fell by 32%.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, launched a public consultation in the UK due at the end of July, to expand the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) in the entire capital next year.
Among Europe’s clean air index, Italy tops with 172 declared clean air zones, succeeded by Germany with 78, the UK with 17, the Netherlands with 14, France with 8, and a few LEZs introduced in central and eastern Europe, while Poland and Bulgaria are set to launch new zones in the coming months.
Nevertheless, the new study emphasizes moving towards zero-emission zones (ZEZs) with a planned phasing-out of of new fossil fuel vehicles in the UK by 2030 and the EU by 2035.