- Weather conditions in Paris are so dire that the government is restricting the types of cars it allows on the road over fears of a spike in air pollution.
- France, along with other parts of Europe, is experiencing an extreme heatwave, with temperatures soaring to all-time highs in much of the region.
- Authorities have restricted older and less fuel-efficient cars from the city, as well as the surrounding Il-de-France area immediately outside the city as long as extreme weather conditions persist.
- France uses a colour-coded system to rank cars based on their efficiency. Cars with the worst efficiency ratings will now be banned from the nation’s capital.
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Weather conditions in Paris are so dire that the government is restricting the types of cars it allows on the road over fears of a spike in air pollution.
France – along with other parts of Europe including Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic – is experiencing an extreme heatwave, with temperatures soaring to all-time highs in much of the region. In France, temperatures have soared to 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 42 degrees Celsius, and record-high heat is expected to reach towns in the country’s south on Friday.
Rising temperatures also heighten concerns of intensified pollution and poor air quality, which get worse in the heat. According to Airparif, which monitors pollution in Paris, parts of the city were set to experience elevated levels of ozone pollution this week, which prompted authorities to ban more pollution-emitting vehicles from driving in the city.
Authorities have restricted older and less fuel-efficient cars from the city, as well as the surrounding Il-de-France area immediately outside the city as long as extreme weather conditions persist, the Local France reported Wednesday.
France introduced its Critter<ystem, which divides cars into six categories based on the year of registration, energy efficiency, and emission quantity in July 2016. The system requires cars to place a colour-coded sticker on their dashboard, and allows authorities to ban certain cars from driving in certain environmental zones.
#Pollution | Dans le cadre de la lutte contre la pollution et au vu des fortes chaleurs, la circulation différenciée est maintenue pour ce vendredi 28 juin.
Seuls les véhicules de la classe 0 à 2 Crit’Air pourront circuler à Paris et en petite couronne de 5h30 à minuit ???? pic.twitter.com/9W1pseifJU
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) June 27, 2019
Only vehicles with the lowest pollution ratings of 1 or 2, or electric or hydrogen vehicles which have a rating of 0, are currently allowed to drive in Paris. Certain other cities in France, like Lyon, Annecy, and Strasbourg, also imposed driving restrictions.
Reuters, citing data firm AAA Data, said 60% of the total vehicles registered in the Ile-de-France area would be banned – marking a first for Paris. Fines for defying the restriction are 68 euros ($US77) for cars and 135 euros ($US153) for vans, though several drivers told Reuters they were ignoring the ban because the fines were insignificant.
Officials are set to increase regulation further starting on July 1, permanently banning cars with level 4 stickers from driving in Paris, the Local France said. Level 5 stickers have already been banned since 2017.
Authorities are also taking steps to mitigate the effects of the heat on Parisians and have opened up extra swimming pools and installed mist machines throughout the city. Officials have also postponed thousands of school exams and have urged people to remain indoors when possible.
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