The city of Rome, one of the most congested in Europe, intends to ban diesel vehicles in its center by 2024, said Mayor, Virginia Raggi, a member of the 5-star Movement (M5S ). Raggi made the announcement on her Facebook page, commenting: « If we want to act seriously, we must have the courage to take strong action. »
As the Italian capital does not have large plants, almost all of the air pollution comes from vehicles. According to a study conducted last year by a department of the Ministry of Culture, 3,600 stone monuments and 60 bronze sculptures are threatened in Rome with a severe degradation due to air pollution.
About two-thirds of the 1.8 million new cars sold in Italy last year are powered by diesel, according to statistics from the automotive industry. In Italy, the municipality of Milan, a northern city in the heart of an industrial basin, has already announced that it wants to ban diesel by 2030.
Her statements follow a decision by the German court on Tuesday that cities in Germany authorising citiesto ban diesel vehicles from their streets.
Germany’s highest administrative court in Leipzig ruled in favour of upholding bans that were introduced by lower courts in the cities of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, two of the most polluted German cities, after appeals were lodged by the states of Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia. The decision potentially effects some 12 million motorists in Germany and strikes at the heart of the country’s automotive industry.
Rome has introduced measures in the past to curb its serious air pollution problem such as banning older cars only allowing cars with odd or even ending licence plates to enter the city on alternating days, but they have had little effect.