Paris, Milan, C’hagen laud London’s ultra-low emission zone

Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities, Anne Hidalgo.
“Bravo Sadiq Khan, for implementing one of the largest and most comprehensive Low Emission Zones of any city in the world. The ULEZ will undoubtedly bring long-lasting benefits to London, improving public health, boosting local economies and protecting all Londoners and in particular children from the effects of toxic air pollution. We know that bold policies like the ULEZ will be attacked by those who benefit most from the fossil-fuel powered status quo. Yet they are essential to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement and prevent catastrophic climate change. The mayors of the world’s great cities are determined to create a sustainable, prosperous and healthy future for the next generation.”
Mayor of Milan and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities, Giuseppe Sala.
“Congratulations to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, for introducing the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London today. Earlier this year, Milan introduced our own low emission zone, known as Area B, to prevent the dirtiest vehicles from driving on our roads and polluting our air. I have no doubt that the ULEZ will deliver cleaner air, healthier communities and economic growth for the citizens of London. As mayors, we are delivering urgent and transformative policies to protect the next generation from toxic air pollution and climate change.”
Lord Mayor of Copenhagen and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities, Frank Jensen
“The new Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London sets an example which cities everywhere should follow. In Copenhagen, we also want to enforce a stricter environmental zone, which will prohibit vehicles from polluting our streets and improve air quality. I therefore strongly urge the Danish government to let us go ahead with this urgent initiative: Our citizens, young and old have a right to cleaner air.”
Statement by Mark Watts Executive Director, C40 Cities
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which comes into effect next week in Central London has set a new global benchmark for ambitious climate and air quality policies. One of the world’s largest and most iconic cities has decisively ruled that fossil-fuel-powered vehicles are no longer free to travel through the city centre, poisoning the air with their toxic emissions.
Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the ULEZ will see drivers of cars, vans, taxis and motorbikes which don’t meet the very highest emissions standards, charged £12.50 per day for the privilege of bringing their polluting vehicle into central London.
The evidence of the harmful effects of air pollution on human health is absolutely clear. Thousands of Londoners die prematurely each year as a direct consequence of air pollution. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pollution released from petrol and diesel cars, contributing to childhood asthma, stunted growth, reduced lung capacity and even mental health problems amongst young Londoners.
The same emissions which poison the air, also contribute to climate change, threatening all of our futures. The recent IPCC on Global Warming of 1.5°C, clearly laid out the threat posed to the world’s great cities by uncontrolled climate change.
Mayors are rightly taking bold and urgent action to protect their citizens. 27 cities have committed to make large areas of their city centre fossil fuel free by 2030. Shenzhen has already successfully replaced its entire 16,000 vehicle fleet with electric buses and many other Chinese cities are well on the way to following suit within just a few years. Those cities which embrace the shift to zero emission transport most quickly, will enjoy cleaner air, healthier and more prosperous communities, lower health care costs and greater resilience to the effects of climate change.
The era of the internal combustion engine dominating the world’s great cities is coming to an end. It will not be missed.
About the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Around the world, C40 Cities connects 94 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future.