What are they and why are they criticized?


Haro on “ZFE”. The National Assembly will set the Council’s agenda on Thursday, January 12, during its parliamentary standing. In the program in particular: the abolition of “low emission mobility zones”, mandatory since 1Verse January in major French cities.

Cars: “The whole environment makes sense, but all technology generates exclusion”

“With the Low Emission Zones (ZFE), millions of our citizens will be denied freedom of movement. This hatred towards our most humble citizens should stir up national indignation!”the head of the cycling RN group, Marine Le Pen, protested at the end of October.

sequel after announcement

• What are EPZs?

These ZFEs already concern eleven agglomerations of 150,000 inhabitants and more (Paris, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Toulouse, Nice, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rouen, Reims and Saint-Etienne), and will have to include 43 of them by 2025.

In these low-emission zones, the movement of the most polluting vehicles is restricted. Obviously since 1Verse By January, nearly 2.5 million cars, or 6% of the national fleet, could no longer be circulated in major French cities. In 2024, an additional 3.7 million vehicles will be affected. And in 2025, three-quarters of the current car fleet will be banned from entering large cities.

Is research on polluting compounds antisocial?

Each community is free to define their own surroundings, criteria, and conditions for accessing their ZFE. Depending on the agglomerates, they are therefore heterogeneous. Thus ZFE can be permanent, or dependent on conditions such as peak pollution or days of the week.

Concretely, to access these areas, motorists, cyclists and other drivers must travel with a Crit’Air sticker that rates vehicles on a scale from 1 to 5 according to their environmental impact (from the most virtuous to the most polluting, depending on the age of their engine). In the event of a breach, users are liable to a fine of €68.

sequel after announcement

• What are the advantages of EPZs?

Every year in France, exposure to fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide is responsible for many diseases (asthma, stroke or even lung cancer) and leads to at least 48,000 premature deaths according to French Public Health, nearly as many deaths attributed to alcohol. . (49,000, according to the Ministry of Health). In addition, an INSEE study in 2019 showed the effect of an increase in vehicular traffic in the city (during public transport strike days) on hospitalizations for acute diseases of the upper respiratory tract and breathing disorders.

Grand. “Air pollution kills, let’s end it with inaction”

Although it is still too early to say how effective these areas are, several studies conclude that they have positive effects. In Paris, Apur (Atelier parisien d’urbanisme) estimates that a population of fewer than 50,000 people were exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) thanks to the ban on the circulation of Crit’Air 5, Crit’Air 4 and beyond vehicles rated. of category.

Also on an environmental level, these low-emission zones have benefits, as often the oldest vehicles targeted by cities that have already implemented them are the most emitting of greenhouse gases. The share of transportation in total greenhouse gas emissions in metropolitan Paris, for example, is estimated by the World Wide Fund for Nature at 24%. It is 53% in Toulouse.

• Why are they criticized?

However, the multiplication of ZFE-Mobility’s number is widely criticized. Specific ZFE radars will gradually appear from 2024 to punish the most polluting machines, and some civil society actors fear a shift towards “Safe city”with radars, sensors and other surveillance cameras on street corners. “The environment is the new excuse to deploy CCTV cameras and legitimize repressive policies”thus ensuring with Reporterre la Quadrature du net.

sequel after announcement

But the main criticism is social: some have even renamed these EPZs “high exclusion zones”And the poorest are the first to be affected by the ban on the most polluting cars. According to an Insee survey from 2019, 38% of the poorest households had a vehicle rated Crit’Air 4 or 5, compared to just 10% among the richest households.

We are all environmental culprits, but some are worse than others.

Many citizens in our constituency, who are already suffering from severe instability due to inflation that has been raging for months, and chronic unemployment, find themselves without a backup solution, and unable to travel to go to work.explains to the Novethic media Alma Dufour, the rebellious vicar of Seine-Maritime.

To allay these concerns, in October the government formed a ministerial oversight committee, in coordination with the concerned towns. Members will meet every six months to report and resolve bottlenecks in the field. To support the communities, the Executive has also issued an envelope of 150 million euros. Aids have been created to encourage carpooling or easy commuting, such as cycling, but also to switch to an electric vehicle. “Many aids are available, including a revalued environmental bonus for the poorest 50% of families.”Refers to the Ministry of Environmental Transformation in a communication campaign.


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