Bicyle and tram in Bordeaux
3 June 2015

Air quality action plan

The plan aims to make cities breathable within 5 years.

Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February

We have to act quickly” on air quality – it is “a major health issue” because "60% of the French population are breathing polluted air", Ségolène Royal explained. That is why the Government outlined an action plan to combat air pollution on 2 June.
Its aim is to make city air breathable within five years by sustainably reducing pollution levels and empowering towns to tackle the problem head-on. The action plan is based on a four-pronged approach:
- Offering benefits to users of less polluting vehicles through the “air quality certificate” (certificat qualité de l’air):

  • The most environmentally-friendly vehicles will enjoy special travel and parking conditions at times of peak pollution, and in the restricted traffic zones that some urban areas may introduce thanks to the energy transition bill. Urban areas may also allow free parking for electric vehicles and other measures to benefit less polluting vehicles.
  • It will be voluntary to display the corresponding discs, which will be free for the first six months. The aim is not to impose environmental penalties by pointing the finger at owners of polluting vehicles, but rather to encourage them to choose less polluting vehicles.
  • This is a positive approach since people will see that it is in their interests to opt for a less polluting vehicle. In practical terms, vehicles will be rated from 1 to 6 according to their pollution level. The system will officially come into force on 1 January 2016.

- Encouraging local elected representatives to commit to air quality through a call for “Breathable cities in five years” (Villes respirables en 5 ans) proposals: the winning urban areas will have to implement radical transport policies and industrial, agricultural and residential initiatives to address local challenges. They will receive financial and methodological support from the State and the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).

- Providing a sustainable anti-pollution framework in the draft energy transition for green growth bill: increasing the number of low-emission cars in public and private fleets, replacing buses and coaches with less polluting models starting in 2020, and creating restricted traffic zones for less polluting vehicles.

- Providing financial aid in all sectors affected by air pollution, notably through the new 10,000-euro bonus to give all French citizens access to a clean vehicle.

Electric and hybrid car bonus
A bonus for replacing an old diesel vehicle with a vehicle qualifying for the environmental bonus was introduced on 1 April 2015. This applies to the replacement of the most polluting diesel vehicles (those over thirteen years old) with clean vehicles. The scrappage bonus is aimed at individuals. Its value depends on the type of vehicle bought as a replacement.
Additionally, non-taxable households can claim a €500 bonus when replacing a 13-year-old diesel vehicle with a Euro 6 class vehicle emitting less than 110g/CO2.

Energy transition towards green growth

Ségolène Royal presented a bill regarding energy transition towards green growth to the Council of Ministers. A major text of the ... [Read more]

30 July 2014