The government of Norway’s capital city of Oslo wants to ban private cars from the city center by 2019. Officials say that the move will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city also plans to make itself friendlier to bicyclists
The move comes after a new city government was elected to power in Oslo. The new government is from the Labor Party. It has key allies in the Socialist Left Party and the Green Party.
The new government ran for office with a platform that focused on protecting the environment and fighting against climate change.
The proposed initiative would ban private vehicles in the city center. The city center is only home to about 1,000 people. However, more than 90,000 people work in the area.
No details regarding how exactly the plan will be implemented have been revealed at this time.
Meanwhile, local business people are concerned about the plan. The designated car-free zone contains 11 of the city’s 57 shopping centers.
Reports indicate that the ban on automobiles would be part of a greater goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 50% by 2020.
The city also plans to build more bicycle lanes and offer subsidies for electric bicycles. By 2020, city officials hope to reduce automobile traffic in the entire city by 20% by 2019 and by 30% by 2030. Additionally, pension funds in the city will no longer invest in fossil fuels.
Green Party member Lan Marie Nguyen Berg said, “In 2030, there will still be people driving cars but they must be zero-emissions.”
According to Norwegian media, the position of city mayor will go to Marianne Borgen of the Socialist Left Party, rather than Shoaib Sultan of the Green Party. Sultan would have become one of the first Muslims to lead a major city in Europe. The position of mayor in Oslo is largely ceremonial.