World Mayors Pledge Emissions-Free Cities


Sarah Rogers, Staffer

Climate change and pollution are one of the leading causes of death in the world, as it kills five million people a year. Fueling the impact of pollution is the reality that more than 2,100 cities globally exceed recommended levels of atmospheric matter. But, a glimmer of hope is out there for cities around the world. The mayors of London, Los Angeles, Paris and several other major world cities are pledging to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles from the majority parts of their cities by 2030.

A a variety of chemicals are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. People breathe oxygen every day and what they breathe has a direct impact on their health. The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing the Earth to become warmer.

“I like that they are trying to make the cities more eco-friendly, and this is really needed for our world,” Evelyn Altschuler said. “Our world is suffering because of pollution and the lack of change we have created. The mayors from around the world are trying to make a huge difference and hopefully more cities will join their pledge to have emission free cities by 2030.”

Childhoods are being damaged by the lack of action in cities around the world with major pollution. In China, they’re having record breaking levels of smog in major cities and parents never let their kids go outside to play. Levels of deadly pollutants up to 40 times the recommended exposure limit are being recorded Beijing. Most children have to have their sinuses cleared every night with saltwater piped through a machine’s tubes. A study by California researchers published last month suggested a link between autism in children and the exposure of pregnant women to traffic-related air pollution.

“The major pollution in our world really needs to come to a halt, I think that we need to get rid of diesel completely and go all electric with cars,” Savanna Tess said. “People are dying in the world, and so far it doesn’t look like it’s stopping if no one does anything.”

Cities around the world have already been trying to tackle the problems of pollution. New Delhi, which is one of the most populated cities in the world, has now banned all large diesel cars and SUVs with engines of more than 2,000CC, and to phase out tens of thousands of diesel taxis. Paris as well has been trying to tackle the problem, they have banned cars in many central districts on weekends and, to make public transport free, during major pollution events. Paris also encourages car and bike-sharing programs. Individuals can help reduce air pollution by carpooling, biking, and walking whenever possible. They can also use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible, and make to sure recycle everything they use.