While a bloviating orange man to the south expands on his strategy to turn our world into an environmental wasteland, most other countries around the world are working on ways to cut back on pollution.
Finland wants to phase out coal by the end of this decade, Barcelona wants to reduce the number of cars on its streets by 60 per cent, and Hamburg has banned single-use coffee pods for their damaging impact on the environment.
Next on the ban-list: diesel vehicles. A commitment made earlier this week at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City will see four major world capitals ban vehicles that run on diesel by the year 2025.
Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City have all signed on to ban diesel vehicles.
All four cities have pollution levels exceeding World Health Organization guidelines for maximum annual exposure:
“We no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes,” said Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. “Big problems like air pollution require bold action, and we call on car and bus manufacturers to join us.”
Diesel’s impact on human health is significant as it releases 15 times more emissions than gasoline. While diesel vehicles are quite rare in North America – around three per cent – in Europe they comprise around half of all automobiles.
“The decades-long support for diesel by EU governments [is] a self-inflicted public health crisis of historic proportions,” said Romain Lacombe, founder of pollution monitoring firm Plume Labs. “Banning diesel cars from urban areas…is as courageous as it is necessary, and one of many steps we must take to save lives and reclaim clean air.”