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Rome bans all diesel cars in battle to curb pollution

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Rome bans all diesel cars in battle to curb pollution

 

2020-01-14T141127Z_2_LYNXMPEG0D0ZO_RTROPTP_4_ITALY-POLLUTION.JPG

Cars are seen in a traffic jam in Rome, December 23, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

 

ROME (Reuters) - Rome banned all diesel vehicles from its roads for the first time on Tuesday to try to combat rising pollution, with numerous other cities in central and northern Italy also imposing curbs to cut harmful emissions.

 

A prolonged period of sunny weather with no rain and little wind has triggered dozens of smog alerts across the country.

 

Rome city council banned diesel cars, vans and motorbikes during peak hours on Tuesday, with the worst polluting vehicles barred from the streets from dawn to dusk.

 

The local transport authority said the order would affect around one million vehicles, angering oil companies, who accused the city council of over-reacting.

 

Italy has a permitted limit for fine particle pollution (PM10) of 50 micrograms per cubic meter. Some areas of Rome have exceeded that level - above which air quality is considered a potential health hazard - in 10 of the last 12 days.

 

Pollution levels have also risen sharply in a string of other cities, including Milan, Turin, Florence, Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena, forcing local authorities there also to restrict drivers.

 

However, Rome was the only city to outlaw all diesel vehicles, drawing the ire of the Italian association of oil companies.

 

"This appears to be a totally unjustified decision from a scientific point of view, which offers no environmental advantage and therefore unnecessarily penalizes a wide range of citizens," it said in a statement.

 

By contrast, environmental group Legambiente accused Rome of dragging its feet.

 

"This decision was incredibly delayed. The city council is only banning diesel following 10 days of poisoned air," it said in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gareth Jones)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-15
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Elon will no doubt gravitate to lending the mayor an electric car, and offer the pope a new electric Tesla, an opportunity not to be missed.

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45 minutes ago, leeneeds said:

Elon will no doubt gravitate to lending the mayor an electric car, and offer the pope a new electric Tesla, an opportunity not to be missed.

In that case, lets hope they don't generate electricity with fossil fuelled power stations.

 

Why stop at diesel- ban all private cars using oil based fuel. That'd improve any city.

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45 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Cars in cities are a plague. It's long past time to ban all private cars, in cities.

That's just taking more freedom and choice away.

How will public transport cope??

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I'd like to see a week long trial in Bangkok. Ban all private cars and only allow motorbikes and buses/emergency vehicles into Central Bangkok for 7 days.

 

Watch the congestion, parking issues and 90% of the smog disappear (the 10% would still come from the 40 year old buses).

 

Long term, replace the old dirty buses with hundreds of clean modern versions (electric?) and limit the motorbikes to anything under 200cc. Tax breaks for electric assist bicycles. No private cars allowed all year round. Additional carriages and reduced fares on the BTS.

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1 hour ago, JonnyF said:

I'd like to see a week long trial in Bangkok. Ban all private cars and only allow motorbikes and buses/emergency vehicles into Central Bangkok for 7 days.

 

Watch the congestion, parking issues and 90% of the smog disappear (the 10% would still come from the 40 year old buses).

 

Long term, replace the old dirty buses with hundreds of clean modern versions (electric?) and limit the motorbikes to anything under 200cc. Tax breaks for electric assist bicycles. No private cars allowed all year round. Additional carriages and reduced fares on the BTS.

I am sure private cars are a big part of the polution problem in Bangkok. Vehicles are not the only problem though. The main cause of bad air quality in my immidiate area are the charcoal burners, barbecue stalls and rubbish burning. Quite suprising how large an area one charcoal burner can blanket in smoke if there is no breeze.

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2 hours ago, Sticky Wicket said:

That's just taking more freedom and choice away.

 

Tragedy of the commons. Look it up...

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2 hours ago, Sticky Wicket said:

That's just taking more freedom and choice away.

How will public transport cope??

The answer is in the tram: progressively reallocate space from private cars to the above ground Tram network. Within a given time frame restrict the inner city space only to electric cars.

And, then one mustn't forget that any related increase of the electrical demand must be fulfilled solely by renewal energy.

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4 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

In that case, lets hope they don't generate electricity with fossil fuelled power stations.

 

Why stop at diesel- ban all private cars using oil based fuel. That'd improve any city.

 

And ban all aircraft and ships! Yeah those Luddites knew a thing or two!

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