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Lucerne: Switzerland's second environmental zone?

By 2040, there should be no more combustion vehicles in Lucerne. The city has also set itself ambitious goals for the energy sector and climate protection.

Low emission zones have not yet really caught on in Switzerland. While neighbouring Austria, Germany and France have had countless environmental zones for a long time, Switzerland currently only has one in Geneva, which is activated when air quality is poor and can then ban certain, older vehicles. Now the city of Lucerne has announced that it wants to do away with internal combustion vehicles altogether by 2040. They would thus introduce the second environmental zone in Switzerland, which would also have much stricter rules than many other cities in Europe. They also want to reduce the volume of traffic by 15% by 2040 compared to 2010.

In order to set an example, the city wants to convert its own vehicle fleet as early as 2030.  Public transport vehicles, but also public authority vehicles, but also the fleet of the police and fire brigade, as well as many others, would then have to be electronically or otherwise alternatively powered. In order to make driving less attractive, the number of parking spaces available in the city centre is also to be reduced.

In addition to mobility, the city also wants to change its energy supply and focus much more on climate protection. Energy consumption per capita is to be reduced, and solar power is to be significantly expanded from 2 to 25%. By 2040, the citizens' greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced to zero. At present, emissions per capita are around 5 tonnes.

The project will be expensive. Over the next 5 years, it is expected to cost over 45 million francs, about 41 million euros. However, if the city moves forward with public service and local transport vehicles going completely electric by 2030, it could be a big signal to citizens. With the right incentives and measures, the city of Lucerne could get one of the strictest environmental zones in Europe and reduce emissions and traffic in an exemplary way. This would not only effectively protect the climate, but also improve air quality and protect the city's citizens.