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Old diesel cars banned from Paris from July 1st

From July 1st diesel cars made earlier than 2006 will be banned from the French capital on weekdays.

Old diesel cars banned from Paris from July 1st
Photo: AFP
Any vehicles carrying the Crit'Air 4 stickers (denoting the most polluting vehicles) will not be able to enter Paris on weekdays from July 1st 2019 in an effort to reduce pollution in the French capital.  
 
This means that from that date no diesel vehicle older than 13 years old (2006), as well as motorbikes registered before July 1st 2004, will be able to enter Paris from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm.
 
The rule will hit light trucks as well as cars and is set to impact about 800,000 vehicles in the greater Paris region of Île-de-France, according to a report in BFMTV, although the ban only applies to Paris itself, not the areas outside the périphérique.
 
The people of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis to the north of Paris will be hardest hit if they want to go into Paris, with an estimated 128,015 of the car users in the area driving a Crit'Air 4 labelled vehicle. 
 
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The goal of authorities in the French capital is to ban diesel vehicles completely by 2024. 
 
“The quality of the air is improving in Ile-de-France, but we want to speed up the process. It's a question of public health,” Christophe Najdovski, deputy transport director for the city of Paris told the French press. 
 
More precisely vehicles falling into this category will be banned from the city between the hours of 8am to 8pm during the week. 
 
“They can do it outside of these hours. We do not want to ban but simply limit polluting vehicles during the day,” Najdovski added. 
 
If you're caught breaking the new rule, you risk a fine of up to €68 if you are driving a car or on a motorbike, and a fine of up to €135 for trucks.
 
According to a 2018 study by Airparif, which monitors pollution in the capital, this new step will reduce nitrogen oxide (NO2) emissions by 23 percent, which according to the Town Hall would have taken five years to achieve without taking this action.
 
Crit'air stickers were brought in as a way of tackling pollution, essentially by stopping old polluting cars from driving at peak times, back in 2017. 
 
Any cars – including foreign ones – not displaying a Crit'air sticker risks a fine of up to €68.
 
There are six categories and colours, depending on the year of the vehicle's registration, its energy efficiency, and the vehicle's emission quantity.
 
The stickers range from “green” for electric or Hydogen vehicles, to a level 5 sticker for the most polluting vehicles. 
 
Here's a look at the stickers together with the full descriptions (or download the English PDF version here). 

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CLIMATE CRISIS

Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.

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