Mexico City, Mexico (12 December 2016) – More than 23,000 citizens from cities around the world have joined city leaders in their campaign to reduce urban air pollution by signing a global petition demanding that vehicle manufacturers lead an air quality transformation. The petition urges car companies to stop producing diesel vehicles by 2025 and to support a rapid transition to electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles. These 10,000 citizens represent only a fraction of the popular support bolstering the Air Quality Declaration commitment to ban diesel vehicles by 2025, which the mayors of select pioneering cities announced at the C40 Mayors Summit last week. 

Worldwide, 3 million deaths each year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution according to WHO, and the vast majority of these deaths occur in cities.

“I have said it before and am saying it again: we cannot negotiate with citizens’ health,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and new Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “We no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes – particularly for our most vulnerable citizens. Big problems like air pollution require bold action, and we call on car and bus manufacturers to join us. We must all work together to avoid a public health crisis.”

Our C40 pioneering cities not only agreed to remove diesel vehicles from their streets by 2025, but also pledged to incentivize alternative vehicles and promote walking and cycling infrastructure. Pursuing policies that improve air quality – decarbonizing transportation systems and promoting alternative transportation options – also help cities deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement.

At the C40 Mayors Summit, C40 also announced additional initiatives to drive forward the campaign to improve urban air quality, including a partnership with the World Health Organisation and UN Environment’s Climate and Clean Air Coalition, in support of the BreatheLife campaign to halve the 6.5 million deaths from air pollution by 2030; and a two-year partnership with Johnson & Johnson.

Read the full text of the petition here:   

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