On the eve of Christmas, last Saturday, in all discretion, a decree was published authorizing derogations.
Better still, cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants will no longer be obliged to set up LEZs (Low Emission Zones) but under conditions.
What the road transport federations feared: LEZs with derogations.
According to someone close to the file that our colleague from TRM24 was able to join, derogations were well provided for in the initial text of the law which imposes a generalization of these zones in 43 agglomerations in metropolitan France on December 31, 2024. They were to be formalized in a text. What is done in this published decree.
In the decree published on December 24, it is stipulated that agglomerations of more than 150,000 inhabitants will not be obliged to set up low emission zones (LEZ or LEZm) under certain conditions. Thus, the obligation to establish an LEZ is null and void when it is demonstrated "that the average annual concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are less than or equal to 10g/m3". In reality, this level corresponds to the thresholds of the World Health Organization (WHO), which are more stringent than the current European limit values.
The government estimates that only about ten agglomerations will be concerned, even if it is difficult to know today which city will respect these thresholds.
Another condition that can invalidate a LEZ: “agglomerations can also be exempted from LEZ if they propose alternative measures with equivalent effect”. They must demonstrate no later than eighteen months before the deadline for the introduction obligation that the actions implemented make it possible to reach the concentration limits for nitrogen dioxide "in shorter time periods or similar to those proceeding from the establishment of a low-emissions mobility zone”, indicates the decree.
To date, 11 cities have set up LEZs, including Lyon, Grenoble and Paris. They aim to gradually ban the most polluting vehicles, including heavy goods vehicles.