• Warsaw Clean transport zone to be introduced
    City of Warsaw Clean Transport Zone, Ricardo

Air Quality Monitoring

Warsaw Clean transport zone to be introduced

Dec 21 2023

The City of Warsaw is set to implement a pioneering Clean Transport Zone in response to recommendations from Ricardo, a leading global environmental and engineering consulting firm. Ricardo utilized its expertise in air quality modelling and economics to advise Warsaw on mitigating health risks, enhancing public well-being, and reducing emissions through the adoption of cleaner transportation.

Warsaw, known for high pollution levels and a significant influx of vehicles, especially used cars emitting hazardous gases, faces severe health repercussions. Every third vehicle in the city emits double the nitrogen oxide, contributing to an estimated 1,900 premature deaths and a health-related cost of 4.2 billion euros annually.

The proposed Clean Transport Zone will cover 37 square kilometres, encompassing the city centre and central districts, restricting older, more polluting vehicles. The initiative aims to substantially decrease air pollution and improve public health. While applicable to all vehicles entering the city, local drivers have been granted additional time to comply with the regulations.

Ricardo's analysis suggests that the Clean Transport Zone could yield an annual net benefit of 665 million euros, equivalent to 12% of Warsaw's yearly budget. Greenhouse gas reductions are estimated at 756 kilo tonnes, with the overall value of air pollution benefit on human health estimated at 330 million euros annually.

Ricardo supported Warsaw in developing the Clean Transport Zone through the Clean Air Fund’s Breathe Warsaw program. The firm's experts modelled changes in pollutant concentrations, assessed health impacts, conducted cost-benefit analyses, and considered the distribution of costs and benefits among different social groups and business sectors. Following a three-month public consultation process, the City of Warsaw approved the scheme for implementation in July 2024, with adjusted deadlines for residents to replace non-compliant vehicles.

Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski emphasized the urgency of addressing air quality issues, positioning the Clean Transport Zone as a gradual but necessary change. Guy Hitchcock, Technical Director at Ricardo, highlighted the significance of clean air, asserting that the analysis provided compelling evidence for informed decision-making and ambitious actions to improve Warsaw's air quality.

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