Highway urban traffic with view over a canal in Stockholm, Sweden.
Oksana Verkhola | Istock | Getty Images
Come 2025, Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm plans to forbid diesel and gas-powered vehicles from entering the central part of downtown in order to cut down on emissions.
“In the Green Party’s Stockholm, everyone should be able to breathe the air without getting sick,” the Vice Mayor for Transport Lars Strömgren wrote in an Instagram post last week when he announced the new policy. “Instead, it should be a public festival with outdoor seating and plenty of space for walking and cycling. Now we are taking the next big step to make this a reality.”
The area bordered by four streets in Stockholm’s center, which cover roughly 20 blocks, will become a so-called environmental zone class 3, according to a report by SVT, a national news outlet in Sweden. That zone classification means no diesel or gas vehicles will be permitted to drive within it.
It will be Stockholm’s first environmental zone class 3, but the plan is to ultimately expand it beyond that 20-block area. Swedish officials will negotiate that expansion in the first half of 2025.
Stockholm is not the first to test out low-emission areas, but this all-out ban is one of the boldest moves by a major European capital.
London has several low-emissions zones that charge high-emissions vehicles a daily fee to drive within them. Brussels announced in December that only essential vehicles like those for emergency services, health visits and some business deliveries would be allowed in 10 streets of the city’s center; other non-essential vehicles get one warning before being fined. Oslo is also investigating a potential zero-emission zone for 2025.