Last week at the C40 Mayors Summit, four cities—Athens, Mexico City, Madrid, and Paris—committed to ban diesel-fueled automobiles in their cities by 2025, a move applauded by many environmental supporters. Diesel-fueled vehicles had previously been championed for emitting less carbon dioxide than gasoline-powered vehicles. The ban comes after local governments became attuned to the local pollution effects of diesel vehicles, in particular nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which manufacturers have been slow to resolve.
Last week, the Greek government froze plans to allow development of Greece’s coastline. The proposed bill, which would simplify building permits and allow substantial commercial construction on the country’s beaches, was met with strong opposition from the public; on May 13, the Ministry of Environment received a petition signed by over 110,000 people demanding that the legislation be shelved, and thousands have turned to social media to voice their dissent. Faced with such opposition only a few weeks before European elections, the government announced that it would reconsider the bill.