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France: The end of the combustion engine

The new climate package hits old diesel and petrol cars hard. All major cities in France will have to set up a permanent low emission zone with strict rules by the end of 2024. The sale of combustion cars will also be banned in the long term. At the same time, more eco-lanes are to be set up to promote e-mobility.

The French government has presented a new climate package, which will be discussed in parliament from March. A citizens' convention was involved in the drafting of the law, with randomly selected citizens contributing almost 150 measures on various topics. The aim of the climate package is to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Besides short-haul flights and other aspects, road transport is also massively affected by the package. It stipulates that all conurbations with a population of 150,000 or more must set up a permanent low emission zone by the end of 2024. This is to ban all vehicles with stickers 3 and worse. This includes, for example, diesel trucks with Euro 5, but also diesel cars and vans with Euro 4 standards.  Petrol cars are also affected. In addition to Paris, Lyon and Grenoble, which already have permanent environmental zones, these have already been decided in 7 other cities. In addition, there would be more than 40 other cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants.

All of these cities are also to get eco-lanes that are open for e-cars and carpools. This is intended to create an incentive for more e-mobility. At the same time, the sale of vehicles with emissions above 123g/km CO² will be banned from 2030. This is tantamount to a ban on combustion. Advertising for vehicles with combustion engines will also soon no longer be allowed.

France's Environment Minister Barbara Pompili sees the climate package as an opportunity to put France on a greener path overall. "It's not just about changing the engines in our cars or the machines in our factories. It's about changing civilisation, culture, lifestyle."

Already, however, there is much criticism of the climate package. The goal of reducing greenhouse gases as desired is not achievable with the measures presented.

Although there will be significantly more permanent environmental zones with stricter rules under the new law, the rules in the different zones will become much more uniform, which should reduce the zone chaos in France somewhat. If eco-lanes and car-sharing opportunities become a reality, the positive incentives could actually encourage a shift in thinking towards e-mobility.

So the next few years will be crucial for the development of cities and improvement of air quality in France.

All current temporary and permanent low emission zones in France and of course all future ones can be found in our Green-Zones app.