The international car-free day, initially celebrated every year on September 22, comes to Rabat on Sunday October 3, for a 4th edition. An initiative launched by the Association “Jeune du 21e century ”and which invites reflection on the impact of climate change, caused in particular by motorized traffic in urban areas.
Called “Rabat, sans my car”, this initiative invites the citizens of the city to do without their vehicles from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 3. All motor vehicles are affected by this action, except electric cars, bicycles, and emergency vehicles.
The objective is to raise awareness among citizens to use electric and hybrid cars, demonstrate the Kingdom’s commitment to the global strategy to decrease CO2, raise awareness among citizens of the importance of protecting the environment and making the less polluted public space, as well as market this edition internationally.
In a statement made to MoroccoLatestNews FR, the president of the Youth Association of the 21st Century and initiator of this event, Aziz El Fekkaki explains that an awareness campaign is planned to address in particular the need to organize trips by car in the city and its impact whatsoever on the environment where on the human being.
Everything to gain without a car
“When the individual organizes his trips, he wins, by one, in his pocket insofar as he does not consume a lot of fuel which causes less greenhouse gas emissions. And thirdly, it allows him to play sports ”, he believes.
According to him, the role of associations and environmental protection organizations in Morocco remains strategic to address these important topics and encourage citizens to fully adhere to these initiatives, given their symbolic importance of raising awareness and involving citizens in the process. preservation of the environment.
An initiative that is part of the continuity of Morocco’s policy which stands out for its undeniable commitment to nature and the environment. In this sense, we can cite the establishment of the promotion of renewable energies and the preservation of hydraulic and natural resources, without forgetting the possible realization of a national charter for the environment and sustainable development.
World Car Free Day, celebrated each year on September 22, was designed to ensure that pollution is reduced. While cars are convenient and offer a number of benefits, they also contribute a dangerous amount of pollution, so taking a day off is highly recommended. World Car Free Day is a great time to raise awareness of these concerns and help reduce emissions.
The first experiences of car-free days emerged during the Suez Canal crisis in 1956 which forced some countries to take drastic measures to save fuel. In Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, these measures took the form of car-free Sundays between November 1956 and January 1957.
In order to understand why World Car Free Day is so important, it is essential to understand air pollution and how vehicles contribute to it.
Air pollution refers to the presence of foreign substances in the air that are not supposed to be there. It can also result in an excessive amount of specific impurities that could harm us otherwise. When gasoline is burned by a vehicle, pollutants are emitted. Gasoline vapors will escape into the air.
Air pollution has caused 4.2 million deaths
World Car Free Day is also beneficial in terms of promoting other modes of transport, such as cycling. Bikes offer a plethora of benefits that many might not think of when they first consider purchasing them. First and foremost, they’re obviously a great way to make sure you stay healthy and get exercise. By swapping out your car for a bike when you commute to work, for example, you can add exercise and fresh air to your routine. You will do this without impacting your schedule or having to find more hours in the day.
Car-free days are a huge opportunity for cities, especially Rabat, to realize how pollution affects our lives. Vehicle emissions are one of the main sources of outdoor air pollution, especially in cities. Ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016, according to the World Health Organization.
Transportation is also the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, the largest contributor to climate change.
Vehicle emissions are the result of poor fuel quality and weak vehicle regulations around the world. The Clean Fuels and Vehicles Partnership was launched by UN Environment to help countries tackle urban air pollution by adopting cleaner fuels and more efficient vehicle technologies and standards. He is recognized for having successfully helped countries phase out leaded gasoline.
The results of the absence of a car are obvious. For example, the first “car free day” in Paris, France, took place in September 2015 and reduced exhaust emissions by 40%.
“Most cities were designed around mobility for cars, and it is high time to change that and start designing cities around human mobility”, says Rob de Jong, head of the Air Quality and Mobility Unit at UN Environment.