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The purpose of a Low Emissions Zone is to protect populations in the most polluted, high-density areas. This concept has already been adopted by 230 European cities and has been recognised as particularly effective.
The Greater Paris Metropolis must address a climate and health emergency. According to the March 2018 Airparif report, airborne pollutants regularly exceed regulatory thresholds and WHO recommendations for air quality. The French Public Health Agency estimates that 6,600 premature deaths that occur each year in the Metropolitan area could have been avoided. In light of this situation, the European Commission has put France on formal notice for exceeding the limit values for nitrogen dioxide and fine particles. The Council of State has urged the government to take all necessary steps to improve the air quality.
The Greater Paris Metropolis approved the Climate Air Energy Plan, a strategy officially adopted by the Metropolitan Council on 12 November 2018. Restoring air quality is a key priority.
To achieve this goal, the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in the metropolis was assessed in the framework of the Île-de-France Atmosphere Protection Plan. This solution was found to have the most significant impacts, producing rapid improvements in air quality. The assessment was confirmed in 2018 by the Regional Health Observatory (ORS-IdF).
This measure is not intended to make the Greater Paris Metropolis a car-free area, but rather to accelerate vehicle replacement processes, in addition to the financial aid system currently in force. The benefits of this initiative go beyond air quality. It will also make the territory more attractive, improve quality of life, and reduce noise levels.
WHAT IS A LOW EMISSIONS ZONE ?
The goal of an LEZ is to protect those living in densely-populated areas with the highest pollution. This initiative has been adopted by 231 European cities and metropolises. It has been recognized as an effective means of reducing emissions from road traffic, which is one of the main sources of pollution in the city. On 8 October 2018, the State and 15 metropolises, including the Greater Paris Metropolis, signed a commitment to develop Low Emission Zones by the end of 2020. The principle is to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles. In order to drive through an LEZ, vehicles must have a Crit’Air sticker on their windscreen. This system makes it possible to identify vehicles based on their air pollutant emission levels. The most polluting and “unclassified” vehicles will not be allowed to drive through LEZs during certain time slots.
AID AND ALTERNATIVES
The introduction of an LEZ goes hand in hand with aid schemes to encourage the replacement of polluting vehicles. Patrick Ollier, President of the Greater Paris Metropolis, has therefore committed to working with the State, City of Paris and the Region to establish a single service combining all the aid schemes already offered by the different institutions. When combined, this financial aid can amount to as much as €19,000 for the purchase of a new clean vehicle, and up to €12,000 for the purchase of a used clean vehicle.
The aid offered by the Metropolis can be combined with the State’s conversion premium and the environmental bonus. This aid scheme, called “Métropole Roule Propre !”, provides up to €6,000, depending on household income, for metropolitan residents who wish to replace their polluting vehicle, regardless of the type of engine, with a clean one.
EXEMPTIONS FOR PROFESSIONALS
Following constructive and ongoing dialogue with the various chambers of commerce and professional organisations, the Greater Paris Metropolis will grant exemptions for professionals who have been hit hard by the health crisis. These exemptions are related to the application of LEZ rules, until 30 June 2022 for the following vehicles:
- Vehicles owned by companies that have taken out a State-guaranteed loan (PGE) as of 1st March 2020, and who can provide proof of the loan contract;
- Vehicles owned by companies which have taken advantage of the solidarity fund for businesses affected by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic as of 1st March 2020, who are able to provide proof of their entitlement to this fund;
- Vehicles owned by companies that have benefited from a “recovery loan” introduced by the Île-de-France region or the “Île-de-France and Communities Resilience Fund”, who can provide proof of the loan contract or award of funding.
The following municipalities are included in the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) within the perimeter of the A86 inner ring road:
Communes partiellement incluses dans le périmètre :