Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi said “If we want to intervene seriously, we have to have the courage to adopt strong measures”.
Nearly all of the pollution in Rome is caused by motor vehicles
On Tuesday while speaking at a climate conference in Mexico City, the mayor of Rome announced that her city plans to ban diesel cars from the centre of the city by 2024.
Italy’s traffic-clogged capital city is home to almost 2.87 million citizens and thousands of ancient outdoor monuments which are currently threatened by pollution.
“If we want to intervene seriously, we have to have the courage to adopt strong measures,” said Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi while speaking at Women4Climate conference in Mexico City. She added “We must act on the causes and not just the effects.”
According to a study by a branch of the Italian culture ministry, about 3,600 stone monuments and 60 bronze sculptures are at risk of serious deterioration due to air pollution.
As part of new millennium celebrations in 2000, the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican was cleaned. The project took several years, and now, the building is showing fresh signs of pollution-related effects.
Current industry figures show that about two-thirds of the 1.8 million new cars sold in Italy in 2017 were diesel. As Rome as no major industries, nearly all of its air pollution is caused by motor vehicles.
Rome regularly tries to ban older vehicles that cause more pollution from its roads on days when pollution reaches critical levels. As well, the city has also tried to limit traffic in the city centre by allowing only cars whose licence plates end in either odd or even numbers to travel on alternate days.
Both have been unsuccessful, were not enforced by traffic police and some families simply bought a used car with an alternate-ending number licence plate to get around the rules.
Raggi’s comments echo a court ruling from Germany that allows cities to ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars.
Milan had earlier announced plans to ban diesel cars by 2030.