8 Dec 2014

Mayor wants diesel cars out of Paris

7:19 am on 8 December 2014

The mayor of Paris has called for diesel cars to be banned from the French capital by 2020 as part of plans to reduce pollution

Anne Hidalgo told France's Journal du Dimanche newspaper she wanted only ultra low-emission vehicles on the capitals' main thoroughfares.

Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. Photo: AFP

She also suggested more pedestrianised areas and a doubling of cycle lanes.

A partial car ban was imposed in March after the capital's air quality was found to be one of the worst on record.

"I want diesel cars out of Paris by 2020," Ms Hidalgo said in the interview.

"Today 60 percent of Parisians already do not have cars, compared with 40 percent in 2001. Things are changing quickly."

Her plans also include limits on the tourist buses that clog Paris streets, banning trucks from cutting through the city, and adding electric vans to the city's car-sharing scheme.

She said some streets such as the Champs Elysees have become canyons of pollution.

She said there was a serious public health risk in the capital, with Parisians living on average six or seven months less than people not exposed to the same levels of pollution.

Some 84 percent of Paris residents see fighting pollution as a priority and 54 percent supported a diesel ban in the city by 2020, according a poll carried out for the Journal du Dimanche.

Research by the World Health Organization has shown that diesel engines, although more fuel efficient than petrol engines, produce more pollutants.

The Eiffel Tower seen through thick smog, on March 2014.

The Eiffel Tower seen through thick smog, on March 2014. Photo: AFP

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs