Mayors of four major and highly-populated cities in the world– Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens have pledged to ban diesel cars and trucks from their streets by 2025. This was announced at a C40 Mayors’ Summit, an event where leaders discuss issues related to sustainability and climate change in urban environments.
Those employed in transportation, mining, construction, agriculture are likely to be continually exposed to diesel exhaust fumes and are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
In 2015, Paris had implemented a low-emission zone where vehicles which only meet strict air quality checks are permitted. Mexico which was once declared the world’s most polluted city in 1992 has made a concerted effort to combat air pollution by relocating factories and investing in public transport.
Greece, which is highly susceptible to climate change, restricts vehicles according to their license plate number in its capital, Athens.
Madrid has plans to expand parks and ban more cars to combat change after a study by Arup said that there might be a 25 percent drop in the city’s accumulated rainfall in 2050.
Delhi, too, has been suffering from the ill-effects of smog this year caused largely due to crop burning, emissions from burning coal and vehicular exhaust fumes. The city had to resort to a series of emergency measures such as a temporary ban on construction and closing the city’s school for three days.
More than 5.5 million people are dying prematurely worldwide due to air pollution, with most of these deaths occurring in India and China. It may be time for India’s cities to start implementing strict measures as well.