London, Paris, Milan and Rome have defended the Barcelona Low Emissions Zone (ZBE) this Sunday after the Justice annulled the ordinance in the Catalan capital and have warned that car circulation restrictions “save lives”.
Justice overturns the veto on polluting cars in Barcelona
The European cities led by Sadiq Khan (London), Anne Hidalgo (Paris), Giuseppe Sala (Milan) and Roberto Gualtieri (Rome) have promoted an open letter in which they defend that “prioritizing the right to health is the new common sense shared by large European cities and the scientific community”.
In the letter, they recall that around 300 European cities have already created a Low Emissions Zone “because scientific evidence shows that it is a measure that saves lives” and they have highlighted that it is one of the most useful tools to reduce high levels of emissions. pollution.
“For this reason, in the face of the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) that annuls the ZBE of Barcelona, the cities want to show that we are united and convinced that it is necessary and urgent to implement policies against pollution”, they have expressed. .
In this sense, they have criticized that the resolution goes against the directives of the European Union and the WHO, the scientific consensus and, “above all, international common sense that understands the importance of protecting public health.” “In the midst of a climate and health emergency, judges cannot force governments to back down,” they added.
The Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning and Mobility, Janet Sanz, thanked these cities for their support and their commitment to continue working with Barcelona: “We are the international cities that are paving the way in the face of an emergency that affects the health of our neighbours”.
“This letter expresses the conviction and mutual support with which we work together, and we manage to defend the right to health above all else,” he stressed in statements to journalists.
In a ruling published this Monday, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) annulled the most ambitious measure of the Ada Colau consistory to reduce pollution levels with criticism against the City Council for causing “a negative effect on people with less capacity acquisitive”, that they cannot exchange the car for one with an environmental label.
Until now, the Barcelona ZBE affected the Catalan capital and four neighboring cities in a total of 95 square kilometers and prohibits the most polluting vehicles – those that do not have an environmental label from the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) – from circulating on weekdays, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.