Oslo moves to ban cars from city center

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Oslo moves to ban cars from city center

Oslo’s new leftist city government said Monday it wants to ban private cars from the city center by 2019 as part of a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The Labor Party and its allies the Socialist Left and the Green Party, winners of the Sept. 14 municipal elections in the Norwegian capital, presented a platform focused on the environment and the fight against climate change.

The program envisages a ban on private vehicles in the city center which, according to the Verdans Gang newspaper, is home to only about 1,000 people but is where some 90,000 work.

The new city government did not give details of how the plan would be implemented.

The proposal has sparked concerns among local businessmen, who noted that 11 of the city’s 57 shopping centers are in the planned car-free zone.

The ban on automobiles is part of a plan to slash emissions of greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

The new city authorities also plan to divest fossil fuels from their pension funds, build more bicycle lanes, subsidize the purchase of electric bicycles and reduce automobile traffic over the city as a whole by 20 percent by 2019 and 30 percent by 2030.

“In 2030, there will still be people driving cars but they must be zero-emissions,” Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, a member of the Green Party, said at a news conference.

Agence France-Presse