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Paris is surging ahead with air pollution targets and plans to ban diesel vehicles by 2025.

The UK and France made headlines this year when they announced plans to end sales of gas and diesel-engined cars by 2040 – but it seems Paris has an earlier target in mind. The city plans to bring about a gradual phaseout of combustion-engine cars by 2030. They are avoiding calling it a "ban", but echoing steps already taken by the city government to reduce pollution in the city, according to a Reuters report.

"This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gas," said Christophe Najdovski, head of transport policy in the administration of mayor Anne Hidalgo.

"Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers... so we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030," Najdovski told France Info Radio.

As for efforts to reduce pollution within city limits, Paris is already known for introducing a ban on cars older than 20 years in the city during weekdays – a measure which received some criticism for effectively discriminating against those who cannot afford newer models.

The city is also heading toward plans for a ban on diesel vehicles ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics – an event expected to generate more climate agreements on a state and city level.

In addition, Paris has instituted temporary car bans inside the city in response to pollutant levels in the area, causing some irritation from city dwellers who need a car to commute.

Paris's plans reflect a growing trend among large cities to take action on environmental issues apart from their countries' governments.

Paris is already part of a group of cities including Mexico City, Athens and Madrid, that plan to end the use of diesel engined cars by 2025, collectively representing metropolises that are home to 42 million people.

Large cities are now seen by those engaged in climate policy as far more effective government entities than federal governments when it comes to testing and enforcing pollution regulations.

The plans to phase out internal combustion vehicles by foreign cities and countries have recently caused calls for similar action in the US. California governor Jerry Brown has also called for the state to phase out sales of gas- and diesel-engined cars before the 2040 targets announced by France and the UK, citing China's commitment to bring about the same ban far sooner.

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