In the race to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming, two cities are taking the lead.
China, the UK and France have all already committed to stop selling or producing fuel combustion cars in 2040 – a good start. On Thursday, France’s capital city of Paris announced that it is trying to get to the finish line first by banning all gas-powered cars within its limits by 2030.
Initially, there were discussions aimed at achieving this change by 2024, when the city of 2.24 million hosts the Olympic games, but it is apparently giving itself some leeway time. Paris City Hall is shying away from the word “ban” because previous”no-car zones” policies have been controversial. Here, it is leaning into the language of a deadline for phasing out combustion vehicles instead, though there’s no effective difference.
It should of course be noted that the city lends its name Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce global carbon emissions by implementing reduction processes and phasing out particularly harmful human causes for climate change starting in 2040. Famously, the Trump administration has tried to pull the United States out of the accord, drawing fire both domestically and internationally.
Coming up in the fast lane to pass Paris is the far smaller city of Oxford, England, which has committed to end the use of gas-powered cars in its city center by 2020. On Tuesday, Oxford officials announced a plan to introduce “zero emission zones” in the city center, banning combustion cars completely. Already, large sections and central streets in the city of 150,000 (with thousands more who commute into it every day) have been given over to bike and pedestrian traffic at most hours of the day.