Magazine article Geographical

City of Smog: As Paris Continues to Combat Its Severe Air Pollution Problem, the Compulsory Displaying of Car Pollution Certificates May Be Just the Ticket

Magazine article Geographical

City of Smog: As Paris Continues to Combat Its Severe Air Pollution Problem, the Compulsory Displaying of Car Pollution Certificates May Be Just the Ticket

Article excerpt

When Parisian mayor Anne Hidalgo took office in 2014, she did so with a promise to tackle the city's air pollution blight. To help achieve this, she has proven herself keen to experiment with various urban transport schemes to reduce traffic emissions. These include introducing the Autolib electric car hire fleets, and pedestrianising the famous Champs- Elysees on the first Sunday of every month. Even so, in December 2016 Paris briefly became the world's most aerially polluted city as airborne pollutants --particularly nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide--built up across the city. These were especially concentrated in hotspots such as Victor

Basch Square, or near Boulevard Peripherique--the city's ring road. Emergency measures had to be taken to curb the damage, such as banning cars with odd or even number plates on alternate days, and making all public transport free to use.

Crit'Air, a new nationwide scheme, should aide Hidalgo in her quest to rid Paris of these pollutants. Adopting a system similar to the 'traffic light' labels that indicate the efficiency of our household appliances or the nutritional value of our food, it enforces the mandatory displaying of pollution certificates by almost all road vehicles travelling through France's relatively new low emission zones' during normal weekday working hours. …

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