A surprising announcement was made by Mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quinterofrom the Clinton Global Initiative in New York (USA), which took place between September 19 and 20.
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The event, convened by former United States President Bill Clinton, was held in parallel to the United Nations General Assembly, this brings together world leaders and organizations to create solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.
At the meeting, Quintero announced that: “The city has taken the decision to prohibit, from the year 2035, the sale of gasoline vehicles“.
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And he pointed out the objectives sought by the district administration with this measure: “we seek not only reduce greenhouse gases on the planet, that are the cause of global warming, but to inspire other citizens, territories and rulers of the world to join in this purpose that should unite us all with the aim of saving our planet and humanity”.
The arguments of the measure
According to the Medellin mayor’s office, the decision was made based on the climate crisis facing the world and whose effects are seen in the increase in rainfall in the city. In addition, in the increase in respiratory diseases since 2020.
“That year, 439,269 cases were registered and, between January and April 2022, the annual number of this pathology already amounted to 104,742. The result of this is that 9 percent of natural deaths of the Metropolitan Area are linked to diseases caused by atmospheric pollution of particulate matter,” the administration said in a statement.
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mobile sources account for 82 percent of emissions, according to estimates by the authorities, while 18 percent corresponds to fixed sources. Hence, the mayor’s office supports “the promotion of alternative mobility with the use of public transport, cycling or walking as axes”.
Although to date it has not been published in the official gazette, the district administration reported that the decree that establishes this decision contemplates the creation of a Technical Table for Climate Adaptation that must develop actions that allow discouraging the use of gasoline vehicles.
Reactions to the proposal
Different political and business sectors have reacted to Mayor Quintero’s proposal. María José Bernal, executive director of Fenalco Antioquiashowed the disagreement of the entity it represents with the announcement.
“We received the mayor’s statement with great surprise. This is worrying because it does not only affect dealers, there is an entire industry and commerce around it. Clearly we have to think about the consumer. It is very different to say that electric or hybrid mobility is going to be promoted , to say that we are going to prohibit the sale of fuel vehicles,” Bernal said in a statement.
The director added that Fenalco Antioquia rejects the proposal and that in 13 years an industry has not changed. “We wonder what the administration’s plans are in this regard. We occupy different tables at the local level and we were not aware of this,” she pointed out.
We would like to know from the union what work plan it has to prohibit merchants from selling these vehicles and consumers from acquiring them, since none of the mobility tables in which we participate have even been informed about it. https://t.co/WySZeKNyRZ
– Maria Jose Bernal G (@Majobernalgavi1) September 21, 2022
For his part, the executive director of Intergremial Antioquia, Nicolas Posadaasked Mayor Quintero to present “the studies, analyses, courses of action and agreements with the citizens that were taken into account to define the date of prohibition of the sale of gasoline vehicles in Medellin.”
Posada assured that from the union entity supports the energy transition and clean energy with agreements and studies that support it.
The governor of Antioquia, Aníbal Gaviria, explained that in the event of a possible ban on gasoline vehicles in the country it is important to strengthen mobility alternatives and with it, mass public transport in the Valle de Aburrá.
“That happens through the Tren del Río, which connects Barbosa with Caldas and will not only increase the capacity of the Metro, but also bring this possibility of transport to other areas of the metropolitan area,” said Gaviria, who welcomes the proposal and commented that they should be issues put on the table to be analyzed.