Shortly after a landmark ruling allowing German cities to ban diesel vehicles, the mayor of Rome has announced that Italy’s capital city will ban diesels from its center by 2024.
Virginia Raggi broke the news on her Facebook page, where she wrote that “Rome has decided to ban the use of private diesel vehicles from its historical center from 2024.” The announcement was made during the 2nd annual Women4Climate conference in Mexico City.
Such a decision is particularly important in the ongoing move away from diesels, as Italy is one of the countries that love diesels. As a matter of fact, roughly two-thirds of the 1.8 million new cars sold in the country last year were powered by a diesel engine.
It is reported that nearly all of Rome’s air pollution comes from various motor vehicles. In the past, the city had banned heavily-polluting vehicles from roads when pollution reached critical levels, The Guardian reports. However, such regulations are rarely enforced.
Beyond aiming to improve the health of its residents, Rome’s diesel ban will aim to protect the longevity of the city’s most famous monuments.
A study by a branch of the culture ministry last year determined that 3,600 stone monuments and 60 bronze sculptures are at risk of serious deterioration due to air pollution. The facade of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, for example, features numerous pollution-related stains.