August 3, 2021

The senatorial right wants to neutralize low emission zones

The opportunity was great and the senatorial right seized it. A few days after the first round of regional and departmental elections largely unfavorable to the majority but invigorating for their camp, the elected Republicans emptied of most of its content the text generalizing the low emission zones (ZFE) in urban areas of more than 150,000 inhabitants as part of the discussion on the Climate and Resilience Act.

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By postponing for five years the implementation of measures banning the circulation of the oldest vehicles – and therefore the most polluting ones – they have considerably reduced the scope of the text. On a more political level, they have also undertaken to play on several angles of attack. The call for resistance against what they call “Punitive ecology”, the staging of the confrontation between “Territories” and Parisian power, but also the evocation, very in tune with the times, of a cleavage between city center and periphery.

Various exemptions

On June 22, the senatorial majority presented the changes adopted at first reading to the climate bill as simple “Relaxations”. Already at work in the Paris region, but also in Lyon and Grenoble, the ZFEs must be extended over the next five years to seven other metropolises, before being generalized to large agglomerations. Prohibit access to these areas for cars that have received a Crit’Air 3 sticker – equipped with a diesel engine from before 2010 or a petrol engine from before 2006 – in 2030 and no longer in 2025 empty of a large part of its substance the text presented by the government. Likewise, the introduction of various and varied exemptions concerning commercial vehicles of companies, but also individuals (who could drive an unauthorized automobile in the event of a medical emergency or to attend a summons to court) is part of the process. a clear desire to unravel the bill adopted by the deputies.

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“It is a question of accompanying this transition with a more realistic timetable: the 2025 deadline is not tenable and more efficient and incentive measures are needed, because the initial project was exclusively of a punitive nature”, assures Philippe Tabarot, rapporteur (LR) of the bill before the Senate, who denies “Question the purpose of this text”. “How, for example, can we ensure the conversion of 600,000 heavy goods vehicles in a few years, when, for the most part, the supply of clean vehicles does not yet exist in this category? “, asks the senator from the Alpes-Maritimes. He is also worried about “Acceptability” EPZs, likely to create “New social divides” prohibiting “To those who do not have the means to decarbonise their car to go to their workplace” despite the existence of incentives for the purchase of a less polluting vehicle.

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