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13 October 2017, 08:04 | Erica Roy
Paris's mayor Anne Hidalgo arrives at place de la Bastille on a bicycle to attend the"car free day in Paris
She has launched a program banning traffic from the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue once a month, introduced rental bicycles in the streets as well as a fleet of electric cars to encourage residents to leave their polluting vehicles at home.
In its latest initiative to reduce pollution, Paris City Hall is planning to ban gas-powered cars by 2030.
France, along with the United Kingdom, made headlines earlier this summer by announcing plans to phase out sales of gasoline- and diesel-engined cars by 2040, but it appears the city of Paris has an even earlier target in mind.
The mayor's office released a statement clarifying its aims after news outlets reported that the city was banning gasoline cars.
"Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers...so we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030", he told France Info radio.
Plans to phase out internal combustion vehicles by foreign cities and countries have recently prompted calls for similar action in the U.S.; California governor Jerry Brown has called for the state to phase out sales of gas- and diesel-engined cars before the 2040 targets announced by France and the United Kingdom, citing China's commitment to bring about the same ban far sooner. Some pollution spikes have been bad enough to prompt City Hall to temporarily bar half of all cars from the city and make public transportation free for several days. Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot has said he wants to banish from France all fossil fuel cars by 2040.
After an atmospheric phenomenon known as inversion occurred last March, "the pollution levels in Paris briefly topped those of Beijing", NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reported. By offering alternatives, we can do without a personal vehicle. She has established bike paths and new bus lanes in an effort to reduce the city's dependence on cars. The statement added that Paris officials would keep discussing the issue with residents and auto makers in the coming months. "That's my goal", said Hidalgo in an interview with Le Parisian on the city's anti-pollution measures.
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