Paris has announced its ‘Crit’Air’ program will see colour-coded stickers applied to diesel vehicles and ban some from entering the city.

PARIS, AND OTHER major European cities are struggling under a blanket of smog and authorities are blaming diesel cars. To that end, Paris has announced its ‘Crit’Air’ policy will introduce colour-coding for diesel cars and ban them, depending on the colour sticker they wear, from parts of the city.

According to a report on Reuters, the Paris municipal authorities have already reported that the colour-coding has been welcomed by police in the city and that they will now find it easy to control diesel cars in the city. The authorities are unable to predict just how many cars will be affected by this system.

The colour-coding system bans all diesel cars from Paris built between January 1997 and December 2000 (these cars will carry a grey sticker). This affects about six per cent of France’s 32 million cars.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hoped to extend the ban to all diesel cars built between 2001 and 2005 (those wearing a brown sticker). This is a staggering 14% of all of France’s cars.

It wasn’t that long ago that diesel cars were promoted across Europe as a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly fuel. But health authorities are blaming diesel cars for respiratory problems and a decrease in air quality across Europe, attributing thousands of deaths each year to emissions from diesel cars.

Paris is not the only city around the world (Madrid, Athens and Mexico City) that’s planning heavy controls of diesel cars to clean up the air in cities. The World Health Organisation claims around three million deaths every year can be attributed to outdoor air pollution.

Question: Will the colour-coding of diesel cars in Paris and subsequent banning of them from entering the city, kill the sale of diesel cars and speed up transition to more environmentally-friendly technologies?


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  1. Yeah, ban everything. Living is dangerous to your health. Again the long suffering motorist is the scapegoat for lack of political will and vision. All passenger cars could be electric by now. That way the pollution is shifted to those who live by power stations and away from cities. I’m sure we will solve the intractable problem of what to do with all those old Lithium batteries – eventually. I imagine that killing of diesel vehicles will assist the transition to electric. I hope so, I hate the smell of diesel. But it is the same government that promoted diesel in the first place now punishing those who followed their advice.

    1. I have to go to Paris for business reasons every once in a while. The air quality is really bad and I fully understand that they are doing something about it. I, for one, don’t want to live there in these conditions. The ban applies to diesel 16+ years old cars. Banning cars near the end of their life-cycle is hardly drastic. The public transport system in Paris is also very decent so it’s not as if you don’t have an option.

      Coal power stations are hardly the only power source on the planet. And Lithium batteries can be recycled. But yes, the transition to a clean car industry will not be easy.

      I’m about to buy a new car and I’m still wondering what to go for. The current-generation diesel cars aren’t exactly clean but neither are direct-injection petrol cars. Living in a multi-dwelling unit with no power in the parking area rules out an e-car at this stage. Thus it’ll be a stinker again – hopefully the last one.

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