The implementation of color stickers for all cars from the 1st July 2016 : a welcome initiative to struggle against air pollution

The implementation of color stickers for all cars from the 1st July 2016 : a welcome initiative to struggle against air pollution

Since July 1st 2016, automobile stickers have come back at the forefront : For those who own a polluting vehicle, this device will limit their usual travels, in particular inside big cities where poor air quality causes lots of health issues.

Source : http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/1-_2016-06-21_DP_Qualite_de_l_air.pdf

  Source : http://www.developpement-  durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/1-_2016-06-21_DP_Qualite_de_l_air.pdf

 

Sticker’s main purpose : the improvement of public health 

Public health is a major issue for our society. Recently, the national agency of public health (created by decret n 2016-523 on the 27th of April 2016 and which contributes to the health system modernization (law of the 26th of January  2016)) has published a survey about pollution impacts on human health. Air pollution is particularly harmful in France. Indeed, it is responsible of 48 000 death each year and air pollution is the third cause of death after tobacco and alcohol.

Air quality is not the same for all areas as it varies strongly from one place to another. Paris’ area is the most touched by air pollution. Then in second place we find the Lyon-Marseille axis. Rural areas aren’t spared by this scourge even if they are often less concentrated in fine particles than in the cities. Life expectancy is higher into countryside with an average loss of 9 months of life expectancy (linked with air pollution) whereas we lose about 15 month into bigger cities. That’s why anti-pollution actions must firstly be taken in cities.

Air pollution represents a threat to human health as it can lead to new cardiovascular and breathing diseases especially in cities. Indeed, 70% of population live into cities and those diseases touch the most vulnerable persons like children and old people.

What can territorial collectivities expect from the « crit-air » sticker ?

The green sticker knows a makeover. Introduced in 1998, it was used for vehicles which fulfilled environmental standards less pollutant than others. It allowed car parking accessibility in restricted areas into huge cities like Paris. It was removed in 2012. However it came back this year with 6 new vehicle stickers that distinguish different levels of pollution.

Those different stickers are applied according to pollutant emissions of the vehicle used (car, lorries, bus, two or three wheels vehicle…). Age and engine power of the vehicle are also considered to class the vehicle into different categories that are each affiliated with a specific sticker.

The use of these new stickers is facultative as it takes place into voluntary politics of territorial collectivities to increase air quality on their territory. For example, collectivities can implement a road restricted for electrical vehicles or for those who emit less pollutant. They also can create limited circulation areas (ZRC) since the transition energetic law. The purpose is to encourage a limited use of high polluting vehicles.

What are the impacts on the users ?

On the base of the car registration document, that sticker can be found on the website certificat-air.gouv.fr for users who want it. User must pay 4.50 euros to receive that sticker.

At the beginning the cost of the process could reach about 35 euros. From 2017 in association with the implementation of limited circulation area the total cost could reach 68 euros for particular vehicle and 135 euros for lorries.

In Paris, it’s scheduled to provide financial support to develop both “vélib” and “auto lib” systems and to build more than 1400 km of bicycle paths until 2020 in order to promote soft mobility.

This flagship initiative is based on the environmental leadership of Paris whose example could encourage other neighboring territories to implement similar actions.

Sources :

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