Switzerland also has to deal with air pollution. But it does not have to adhere to the EU's specifications. Instead, it has declared a much stricter limit value for particulate matter to be binding. It is not the European 40 µg/m³ that applies in Switzerland, but 30 µg/m³, which must be adhered to. Because this does not always work, there is an environmental zone in Geneva and the surrounding towns of Carouge, Cologny, Lancy and Vernier.
The mayor of Paris has been declaring war on cars for some time now. The environmental zone is becoming stricter and stricter and will soon prohibit even the newest diesel vehicles from entering. In addition, more and more car-free zones are being created and the expansion of cycle paths and footpaths is taking more and more space away from vehicles. Now almost all of Paris is to become a 30 km/h zone.
In Spain it has just been passed, in France the measure has existed for a long time: 30 km/h speed limit in cities and villages. Speed limits can significantly reduce the number of traffic fatalities and air pollution. The WHO is also in favour of it. In Germany, the idea falls on deaf ears.
There are environmental zones in many regions of Europe. The EU has issued a directive that obliges its member states to keep the air clean. The environmental zones were therefore introduced by the individual states to protect their citizens from exhaust fumes and bad air. Some countries reduce only particulate matter, others additionally nitrogen oxides, ozone and sulphur dioxides or noise.
The electric car seems ready neither for the road nor for the race track. At this weekend's Formula E chaos race, 15 cars ran out of power on the last lap. They had to cross the finish line at walking speed.
Nitrogen dioxide pollution in Basel is clearly too high. Several measures are being taken to change this. Among other things, Switzerland's first permanent low emission zone is to be introduced.
It is not only air pollution that affects citizens in urban areas. Noise caused by traffic is also harmful to health. Many countries want to put an end to it.
On the first Sunday of every month, vehicles are banned in the centre of the two major cities. This Sunday is no exception.
Saharan dust caused particulate matter levels in Europe to skyrocket this week. In Switzerland, the speed limit on motorways was tightened. In France, the activation of the environmental zones was mostly too late. In some areas, they were dispensed with altogether despite the pollution.
Motorbikes are clearly too loud - that's what measurements in Stuttgart showed. Politicians and citizens are calling for an end to this. Noise protection zones like the one in Tyrol could be a solution.