Because the 'Time for Climate Action Is Now,' Oslo Makes Landmark Move to Ban Cars

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Because the 'Time for Climate Action Is Now,' Oslo Makes Landmark Move to Ban Cars

'The reduction in pollution will make the city even better to live in, and ensure that we take our global responsibility'

Pedestrians walk down a street in Oslo.  (Photo: Caleb Khor/flickr/cc)

As part of a plan to rein in carbon emissions, Oslo's new city council announced this week that the city's center would be car-free by 2019.

Ars Technica reports that the move, which aims to help the city halve greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels, "will make Oslo the first European capital where cars are permanently banned, plus it's a strong indicator that similar bans may be enacted in other major cities across the continent."

To make the shift, the Norwegian capital will boost its investment into public transportation and add roughly 37 miles (60 kilometers) of bike lanes, Reuters reports 

"The time for climate action is now, and the new city government will address climate change both locally and globally," the International Business Times quotes Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, of the Green Party in Oslo, as saying. "The reduction in pollution will make the city even better to live in, and ensure that we take our global responsibility."

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The new coalition running the city, made up of the Labor Party, the Socialist Left, and the Greens, additionally said that it would divest its pension fund from fossil fuels. 

"Divestment," Nguyen Berg added, "sends a strong message to the world prior to the Climate Change Conference in Paris that we need a strong agreement that will ensure that we avoid dangerous global warming."

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