Last month the city of Paris made ground breaking legislation that passed making it illegal to own and operate cars that were made after 1997. The implication being that cars made before this time are made much more inefficient and thus do not meet the standards of the greener less carbon dependent Paris as well as the world we need to strive for to reverse the aadverse affects of climate change. This is part of sweeping legislation that is taking place in Paris to compliment their building industry that is requiring that all new buildings be outfitted with either solar panels or a green roof.
This is a land mark win for the environment, so why the backlash? The reason for is many are considering what are the implications for the classic car owners and collectors in the region, and what is the value we place on their nostalgia moving forward. No doubt these are vital artifacts of history and should be respected and honored in their own right. However, on the open road may not be the appropriate place for them. The reason being that they are antiquated and are inefficient and a larger contribution to carbon emissions. That said some who owns a classic Porsche who takes it out in the wine country a few times a year for a job ride is not the cause of carbon emissions being as absurdly high as they are.
In less than a month cars that are registered in Paris will need to bear a small sticker that signifies that they are officially qualified to drive and meet the energy demands of the the country. It is worth noting that the ban is only in effect 8am-8pm during the weekdays, and not at all on the weekends so the gripers need to pipe down.
Many officials have been going back and forth to consider whether or not the enact the ban for over a year, but in light of the recent Paris climate talks they took it upon themselves to be a leader on this front and be a world changing model that the rest of the world will follow.
This ban is going to be huge and like nothing the world has ever seen to the tune that it aims to affect more than 500,000 cars and will no longer be allowed to drive in Paris in just a few weeks.
In many ways this is a bitter sweet transition for the city of lights. We can all close our eyes and imagine the city of lights, resplendent and glistening from the view of an old roadster. The thing is that Paris and France in general is a place that aims to honor tradition. From their way of doing everything slower with the good or quality in mind they preserve the past and honor classic ways of doing things. However, this is a time where if they want to honor anything and the city in general they must pivot their very identity and stand firm to this ban.