Reuters reports that France's most-visited city will be banning non-electric cars as early as 2030, which is a full decade before the rest of France.
In its latest initiative to reduce air pollution, Paris City Hall wants gasoline-powered cars off the roads by 2030.
Meanwhile, Oxford has also announced it will restrict diesel and gas cars from its center and is set to become the first United Kingdom city to do so. Some pollution spikes have been bad enough to prompt City Hall to temporarily bar half of all cars from the city and make public transportation free for several days.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo also said Thursday that diesel vehicles would be banned in the city by 2024. "This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gases".
Christophe Najdovski, chief of city's transport policies, said that fossil-fueled vehicles are one of main factors that led to greenhouse gas emissions. Paris is already part of a group of cities that includes Madrid, Mexico City and Athens that plan to end the use of diesel-engined cars by 2025, collectively representing metropolises that are home to 42 million people.
After an atmospheric phenomenon known as inversion occurred last March, "the pollution levels in Paris briefly topped those of Beijing", NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reported.
In July, France's environmental minister Nicolas Hulot announced that the country planned to ban the sale of petrol- or diesel-fueled cars by 2040. As a result, the city temporarily alternated between banning cars with even- and odd-numbered license plates. Her detractors accuse her of waging a war against cars.
On Oct. 1, the city held "a day without cars", with the intention of making Paris "less polluted, more pleasant and more peaceful". Officials will discuss the issue with residents and automakers in the coming months, the statement said.
"This government goal affects the whole French territory, rural zones included", the Paris City Hall statement said.