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Ça suffit! Major French cities have had enough of Low-Emission Zones amidst backlash

Summarised by Centrist

Talk about moving the goalpost. French cities reconsider plans for low-emission zones after facing stiff opposition from citizens. The government (unconvincingly) justified the reversal of the reviled policies citing significant ”improvement” to air quality, making restrictions unnecessary.

The law mandated Low Emission Zones in all urban areas with over 150,000 inhabitants by the end of 2024, excluding the most polluting vehicles based on a national sticker system. 

Most cities like Strasbourg and Marseille are now postponing implementation indefinitely due to concerns about the impact on low-income families and public resistance against what’s seen as an unworkable environmental mandate. 

This decision is allegedly supported by an improvement in air quality (environmental groups aren’t convinced) but may (more likely) also be inspired by a desire to avoid sparking a Yellow Vest-like backlash among car users, particularly lower-income households. The vehicles of low-income families make up the majority of cars targeted by the low-emission scheme. However, France’s largest cities, Paris and Lyon, will still implement the proposed system. 

Critics view this as a strategic decision ahead of European elections, aimed at appeasing disgruntled voters.

Read more over at The European Conservative

Image: Darijus Strasunskas

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