Tuesday July 23, 2019

Paris to Restrict Car Use as a Measure to Fight Against Surging Air Pollution

The other vehicles, mostly older and diesel cars, will be preventing from circulating in Paris following the unusual heatwave

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paris, air pollution
Only electric vehicles and those with clean air stickers 1 and 2 are allowed to enter the French capital on June 26 from 5:30 a.m. local time to midnight. Pixabay

Paris will restrict car use on Wednesday as a measure to fight against surging air pollution linked to intense heat wave that strikes most of French regions, the city’s police department announced on Tuesday.

Only electric vehicles and those with clean air stickers 1 and 2 are allowed to enter the French capital on June 26 from 5:30 a.m. local time to midnight, Paris police prefecture said.

Called also Crit’Air vignettes, the stickers have six colours that identify the emissions the vehicle produces according to the European emissions standard, the Xinhua news agency reported.

paris, air pollution
With polluted air raising health risks in a large part of Paris, the situation is critical to say the least. Pixabay

The other vehicles, mostly older and diesel cars, will be preventing from circulating in Paris following the unusual heatwave.

Amid expected high level of ozone pollution linked to rising temperatures, speed limits will also be cut by 20 kilometer per hour in Paris and Ile-de-France on Wednesday, while vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes will be asked to bypass the city centre and nearby surroundings completely.

Furthermore, Paris police department called on businesses that use polluting machinery to reduce operations, and avoid using solvent-based products, such as acetone, varnishes, glues or paints.

paris, air pollution
Called also Crit’Air vignettes, the stickers have six colours that identify the emissions the vehicle produces according to the European emissions standard, the Xinhua news agency reported. Pixabay

Like major Western European countries where unprecedented high temperatures will appear in at least the next six days, France is set to witness unseasonable temperatures which could even exceed 38 degrees Celsius in parts of eastern and southern regions in the coming days.

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For Wednesday, Meteo France predicts 34 degrees Celsius in the French capital. Temperature could reach up to 39 degrees by Friday afternoon.

Meteo France has put 65 departments, including Ile-de-France (Paris and its suburb), under orange alert due to intense heatwave and decided to maintain the alert system in these areas till Wednesday afternoon. (IANS)

Next Story

Perth Relies on Recycled Water to Cope up with Climate Change in Australia

Perth is a city of two million people, and Clare Lugar from Western Australia's Water Corporation said it has had to get used to climatic changes

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drought, climate change .australia, recycled water
More than 95 percent of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, is officially in drought. Wikimedia Commons

As drought-hit towns across New South Wales and Queensland edge closer to completely running out of water, federal and state governments in Australia are trying to come up with ways to guarantee supplies into the future. But on the other side of the continent, the city of Perth is leagues ahead in its water efficiency following a long-term decline in rainfall. Part of its survival plan relies on recycled water from toilets, a move that many consumers elsewhere still consider to be unpalatable.

Since 2017, residents in the Western Australian city of Perth have been drinking water recycled from sewage. It is filtered using a process called reverse osmosis, which is similar to forcing water through a giant sponge. It is then disinfected with ultra-violet light at a treatment plant, pumped into natural aquifers, and extracted.

Perth is a city of two million people, and Clare Lugar from Western Australia’s Water Corporation said it has had to get used to climatic changes. “We know from the mid-70s onwards Perth’s rainfall has been declining by about 20 percent, and that has had a huge impact on our water sources that are dependent on the climate.”

australia, drought, climate change
FILE – The drought-affected Darling River sits well below its banks at Pooncarie, a town in outback western New South Wales, Australia, April 25, 2019. VOA

Lugar said convincing residents of the benefits of drinking recycled sewage did take time. “So, it is only a small percentage of the water that comes into the plant is actually from our toilets. But getting over that perception, that kind of image you might be drinking the water that you flushing down the toilet – that was probably one of our big challenges initially,” said Lugar.

Two desalination plants supply about half of Perth’s water. Aquifers are also crucial, but recycling produces only two percent of the total. But that figure is soon expected to rise. Ian Wright, an expert in environmental science at Western Sydney University, believes other parts of Australia should embrace recycling.

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“In Sydney that is probably 150 liters per day per person of waste water that is completely wasted, and, yes, we have the availability of desalination on the coast, but Canberra does not have desalination and then the poor drought-stricken towns like Tamworth and Dubbo, and Broken Hill, they could really, really use that now,” he said.

Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent. Water is precious, and, in many places, scarce. More than 95 percent of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, is officially in drought, and the next three months are forecast to be drier than average. (VOA)