The State Council on Friday ordered the government to take measures to fight air pollution in eight areas of France, including Paris, Lyon and Marseille, under penalty of a record penalty of ten million euros per semester late. The state has six months to act.

The Council of State tapped the table on Friday and issued an ultimatum: the government must take concrete measures to reduce the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles in several cities, or risk paying a penalty record. Ten million euros per semester late. It is unprecedented, and it concerns the largest cities in France. Eight zones are concerned: Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille-Aix, Reims, Strasbourg and Toulouse for nitrogen dioxide. But also Fort-de-France for fine particles, and Paris for nitrogen dioxide and fine particles.

A first decision made in July 2017

The state has had three years to reduce air pollution in these areas, but the Council of State considered that the efforts had not been sufficient. "We have been asking for actions for years and the government has said that it is doing something, but it is not enough! Now the question is: how to reduce the share of diesel vehicles in city centers? ", testifies at the microphone of Europe 1 Olivier Blond, president of the association Respire which is part of the NGOs which had seized the Council of State. He hopes that this decision will finally mark a real turning point in environmental policy.

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If in six months the Council of State judges that the measures are still not enough, the sum of ten million euros could be paid to certain environmental associations or other public or private actors in the field of quality. 'air. In France, it is estimated that air pollution is responsible for 50,000 deaths per year.