Paris has passed a new regulation which requires vehicles to display a “clean sticker” indicating the cleanliness of the vehicle in high pollution areas.
Effective from January 2017, cars will be graded from one to six – each signified by a different coloured sticker which must be placed on the windscreen.
The different grades are awarded according to a number of factors, such as the car’s year of registration, its energy efficiency, and its emission quantity.
Air pollution has become a severe problem in major cities like Paris, and the French capital were last week forced to forbid half of its vehicles from entering the city centre– with the introduction of an alternating traffic rule which banned cars with either odd or even registration plates.
The measure was stopped after the levels of pollution dropped over the week end but it is feared that they will rise again with rush-hour traffic.
The new regulation, which has been applied progressively since summer 2016, will now be compulsory for all vehicles except for emergency vehicles, vintage cars and certain delivery and security vans.
Vehicles which fail to have their stickers will be banned from the specific high pollution zones or low emissions zones (ZCR) during week days.
The low emissions zones will be defined by local authorities according to pollution evaluations.
The French Minister of Environment, Ségolène Royal, said: “What we now need is a revolution bringing clean transport, responsible cities, electric vehicles in cities and different ways of moving around.”
The “superbonus scheme” is another measure aimed at lowering the levels of pollution in cities, granting a €10,000 (£8,400) payment for vehicles owners who change an old polluting vehicle for an electric one.
The scheme has been applied to private car owners until now, but there are plans to extend it to taxis and vans as well.
Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has said she hopes that the capital will be free of diesel vehicles by 2020, and the whole France by 2025.