– It gives us some tools in the toolbox, which allows us to do something about air pollution, and which makes it easier for us to achieve our goal of being climate neutral already in 2030, says Odense Mayor Peter Rahbæk Juel (S ).
However, he points out that the government’s proposal leaves a half-finished work. Later, the government will also have to look at infrastructure such as public transport in another context.
Here, the mayor hopes that there will be money to invest in other things that increase accessibility in Odense and the other cities.
The government’s proposal is that the municipalities must tighten the requirements for which cars are allowed to drive in the environmental zones that are in Copenhagen and Odense, among other places. This must mean that diesel cars without a particulate filter must not drive into the zones.
At the same time, the municipalities must be able to create zones where only cars without an internal combustion engine can drive. This will mean that, for example, electric cars may drive in the zones but not petrol cars.
This may mean that the cities become less passable for some. And therefore Peter Rahbæk Juel hopes that money will be found to counteract this.
– There is a need to invest in accessibility and public transport. It does not help that we just shut down people’s opportunities to be transported, says Peter Rahbæk Juel.
– Then society comes to a standstill and we lose the popular support to do something about the climate and air pollution. So investments must go hand in hand with rules.
In Odense’s case, it is investments in train traffic across the country as well as money to expand the city’s light rail project that, according to the mayor, will increase accessibility. According to the mayor, the municipality needs the state’s help here.
Also in the country’s capital, Copenhagen, Mayor Lars Weiss (S) feels that the government’s proposal facilitates his path towards some of the city’s green ambitions.
– I am really happy that the government has listened to our wishes and supports the vision of a greener capital with cleaner air, he says in a press release.
– With a particularly tightened environmental zone, we will be able to take a big step towards limiting the traffic from the most polluting cars that we so want. So we can have a city where people, not cars, are at the center.
– It is not a human right to drive around and pollute the air for others.
Source: The Nordic Page