Amsterdam Announces Ambitious Plan to Ban all Polluting Cars by 2030

Only clean cars will be allowed within the city

Jun 1, 2019
Bicycles stand on a bridge in Amsterdam

(Yasonya / Shutterstock.com)

In a massive effort to reduce air pollution, Amsterdam has decided to remove gas and diesel vehicles from the roads. By 2030 the city’s streets will be occupied by non-polluting vehicles only, such as electric and hydrogen cars.

The Netherlands, along with many other European countries, has made incredible strides towards decarbonizing their economy and moving towards more environmentally-friendly policies. The Clean Air Action Plan, which removes polluting vehicles from the city, is the newest environmental and health undertaking. The legislation is critical because air pollution in the Netherlands is above European standards, thus causing significant risks for respiratory illnesses.  

“Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” said Ms. Sharon Dijksma, who is responsible for the city’s traffic.

The city will phase out gas and diesel vehicles gradually and will help incentivize the use of cleaner vehicles, such as electric and hydrogen cars.  Charging stations will be offered to those who buy electric vehicles, and subsidies and special parking permits will also be provided to encourage the use of hydrogen and electric cars.

The Netherlands is already one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world; in fact, 30 percent of  Dutch commuters travel by bike. Cars, however, still make up a large part of the commuter landscape, and are major sources of nitrogen dioxide and particle matter pollution, which is why the transition to cleaner options is essential.

Hopefully, this ambitious legislation will encourage other cities to ban polluting vehicles as well. In fact, Brussels is already considering adopting the policy-change, and even entire countries such as Norway, Germany, and the UK plan to remove gas and diesel vehicles, as well.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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