ROME – The choir of European citizens who want cleaner mobility is growing more and more. This is what emerges from a survey carried out in fifteen cities of the Old Continent by YouGov commissioned by the European federation Transport & Environment (a non-profit and politically independent organization founded in 1990 with headquarters in Brussels). The survey, unique of its kind, involved over ten thousand people in some of the largest European urban centers in eight countries, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. Rome and Milan were the Italian cities involved in the research which showed that about three quarters of the residents in the two metropolises (respectively 77% and 73%, against 63% of the European average) are in favor of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in Europe after 2030, while the percentage of those against it stops at 16% and 19%.
“The fact that Rome and Milan show the strongest support for stopping fossil fuel car sales among all European cities – explains Veronica Aneris, T&E director for Italy – is a sign that their citizens are tired of being exposed to high toxic levels of air pollution and are already ready to change today ”. The analysis also shows that 61% of Romans and 62% of Milanese consider the presence of a capillary network of charging infrastructures to be a determining factor in getting the electric car market off the ground, as well as that the price of “clean” vehicles is the same as that of cars with traditional internal combustion engines (61% in Rome and 56% in Milan). YouGov’s research also took into account the coronavirus factor in the involvement of the decision to stop fossil fueled cars as various studies have highlighted possible links between air pollution, of which road transport is one of the main causes. and greater mortality linked to Covid.
Significant is the data that sees, among those who have been infected by Covid-19 and their families, an average support rate in the fifteen European cities of 66% (compared to 56% among those who did not get sick). Indeed, the favorable sample of respondents believes that the measure would represent a decisive step to reduce pollution. Some hope for the improvement of the situation is beginning to glimpse as next June the European Commission will propose to tighten the CO2 emission limits of cars and could set a date to stop the sale of diesel or petrol cars. This decision is one of the options that the EU legislators have planned to try to reach the goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. “Political decision makers – added Aneris – should listen to citizens who they say they are ready for the complete transition to zero-emission vehicles as early as 2030. We trust that the Commission will actually propose an EU-wide final date next summer for the sale of cars with internal combustion engines ”.
It should be noted that ten European governments have already adopted this measure at national level but, according to T&E, doubts remain about the legality of proceeding in this direction, without having established a phase-out at European level. For their part, various car manufacturers have already openly declared their willingness to abandon the production of fossil fuel cars, but with a European expiration date the entire automotive sector would be bound to respect the deadline. “From Barcelona to Krakow, there is broad support to end sales of fossil fuel cars in the EU – said Julia Poliscanova, senior director for vehicles and emobility at T&E – People in cities are the most exposed to the levels toxic air pollution, and they do not want internal combustion engines to be sold longer than necessary ”. (maurilio rigo)