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The complete Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC

Low emission zones have an effect – but their potential has not been exhausted yet

Since July 1, 2014 nearly all low emission zones in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW / Germany) turned green. Thus, altogether 43 of the 48 low emission zones in Germany are green now. In NRW this means that about 500,000 diesel vehicles that belong to the emission class 3/III and have not been retrofitted are not permitted within the low emission zones anymore. This step is a positive signal for improvement of the air quality in the cities. But the introduction of low emission zones means more than just setting up road signs where they begin and end.

How successful are the low emission zones, what has to be done if they are to function and which potentials do they have for the future to make the air in the cities better? On May 20, 2014 representatives from science, politics and the municipalities discussed this subject at the CLEAN AIR NOW event in Berlin.

As a result of this round of discussions the ecological “Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V.” (VCD) has published the “Immediate Aid Paper on Low Emission zones Zones” today. Besides pointers on the successful introduction as well as tips on the communication and supervision it discloses how cities and municipalities can develop the low emission zones further as their potentials have not been exhausted completely with the green sticker.

The Immediate Aid Paper on Low Emission Zones is available in German / English / Polish and Czech.

Low Emission Zones - Immediate Aid Paper for Municipalities" PDF (528 KB)

German: Umweltzonen Soforthilfe-Papier PDF (366 KB)

Czech: "Ekologické zóny - Prírucka okamžité pomoci pro ob ce" PDF (635 KB)

Polish: "Strefy ekologiczne - Materialy pomocnicze d la g min" PDF (651 KB)

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