Enrique DansMay 6
Amsterdam has approved its Clean Air action plan, announcing it will ban the circulation of all types of gasoline or diesel vehicles in the capital from 2030 as part of measures it says are “a major step towards ensuring clean, healthy air for all Amsterdammers.”
The measures will be implemented gradually: from next year, diesel vehicles that are 15 years or more will be banned from the city’s A10 ring road, while buses will not be allowed into the city center from 2022, while the ban will extend to boats using its canal system, along with motorcycles and mopeds, in 2025. In 2030, the entire metropolitan area will be declared emission-free, which will involve building between 16,000 and 23,000 charging stations compared to the current 3,000.
Amsterdam, whose air pollution levels, along with Rotterdam and Maastricht, are higher than the European average, joins Rome, which has banned diesel vehicles from 2024, along with Madrid, which has already barred them from its center; as well as Denmark, which will end the sale of new vehicles with an internal combustion engine in 2030 and hybrids by 2035. The EU-wide strategy is to move towards completely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, an objective that is still very conservative.
In this context, it’s time to face reality and challenge the so-called “studies” commissioned by car makers who claim that electric vehicles supposedly pollute more: there is no war on gasoline and diesel cars, no conspiracy and we’re no longer talking about theory: we are in a global climate emergency and something must be done urgently if we want to continue living on this planet. This isn’t about being anti-cars or obsessed, it’s about looking beyond the short-term recognizing reality, even if it is difficult and expensive. People in denial or who just go along with things, saying nothing can be done, calling on the market to sort things out or arguing that this is just part of a bigger cycle need to grow up or commit suicide without involving the rest of us. This is no longer about personal liberties. We’ve run out of choices: this affects us all now.