Air pollution plagues many large cities, and now four major metropolises are taking a stand. At the C40 Mayors Summit ending today in Mexico City, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens pledged to ban diesel cars by 2025. They also urged car manufacturers to take action, saying they will provide incentives for their residents to walk, bike, or drive alternatively-fueled cars.

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Air pollution leads to three million deaths every single year, with most fatalities occurring in cities, according to the World Health Organization. As diesel cars pump out contaminating fumes, the four cities decided to remove those vehicles from their cities. In addition to carbon dioxide, cars emit nitrogen dioxide and tiny particles, worsening air quality especially in congested urban areas.

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According to The Guardian, it’s not precisely clear if the pledge will include a total ban, or if it will simply ban cars from some areas of the cities, and if so, exactly which areas.

But such a move could be especially beneficial for Mexico City, which just this year banned over one million cars in an air pollution crisis. Mexico City mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said in a statement, “It is no secret that in Mexico City we grapple with the twin problems of air pollution and traffic.” Public transportation, like the subway and bus system, will be expanded, according to the mayor, as will bicycling infrastructure. Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis indicated he wants to take his city even one step further by removing every car from Athens’ center.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo challenged the car industry to take pollution as seriously as the four cities. “Today, we…stand up to say we no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes – particularly for our most vulnerable citizens,” she said. “Big problems like air pollution require bold action, and we call on car and bus manufacturers to join us.”

Via The Guardian

Images via Mike Norton on Flickr and Pixabay