Some of the world's biggest cities have pledged their commitment to protect the environment and rid their cities of harmful fossil fuels by agreeing to deploy zero emissions buses from 2025. Twelve major cities will introduce the environmentally-friendly vehicles to its transportation systems from 2025, in a bid to make major areas of their cities 'fossil fuel free' by 2030.
Cities such as London, LA, Paris, Cape Town and Barcelona all agreed to sign up to the green initiative at the C40 cities summit which was held in the French capital. Mayors of all the cities agreed to introduce zero emissions buses to their cities after acknowledging that transportation was the leading factor in the acceleration of harmful pollution levels in their respective cities.
The other cities that signed up to the green initiative were Milan, Mexico City, Seattle, Auckland, Quito, Vancouver and Copenhagen. The cities have a combined population of 80 million, and declared that they would also embark on a series of initiatives aimed at promoting walking, cycling and the use of public transport under a joint agreement entitled the 'fossil-fuel-free streets declaration'.
The agreement is another indicator of a growing movement of awareness from major cities in relation to environmental issues. Many cities are implementing tougher policies and targets in an effort to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo said that it air pollution had reached epidemic levels, and fossil fuels were killing millions of people every year. She said, "Air pollution caused by petrol and diesel vehicles is killing millions of people in cities around the world, and the same emissions are also causing climate change."
The mayors, part of the C40 group of cities which is seeking to slow global warming, said they would "procure only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and ensure that major areas of their city are zero emissions by 2030."
It was also disclosed that the C40 summit in Paris that zero emissions would lead to more parks, pedestrian areas and roads were only electric or hybrid vehicles could enter, which would ultimately make many of the world's major cities more attractive places to live. However, it was not defined how big the 'major areas' would be.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said the city was aiming to add 408 acres of green space to the city in the forthcoming years, and also planned on extending the number of bike lanes it has. In addition to this, London has recently announced it plans to deploy electric 'black cab taxis' in January 2018, and already boasts the largest electric bus fleet in Europe.