Stockholm to ban gasoline and diesel cars in downtown commercial area

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. draw up / drɔ ʌp / (phrasal v.) – to prepare or create a document, plan, agreement, or any written or formal material

    The teacher has drawn up a new lesson plan for the coming semester.

  2. spacious / ˈspeɪ ʃəs / (adj.) – having a lot of space

    The local government has built a spacious playground where a lot of children can play together.

  3. comprise / kəmˈpraɪz / (v.) – to be made up of or to include as parts or members

    The festival comprises music performances, art exhibitions, and food stands.

  4. exception / ɪkˈsɛp ʃən / (n.) – a case where a law or rule does not have to be followed

    The shop does not allow returns, but there are exceptions for damaged products.

  5. walkway / ˈwɔkˌweɪ / (n.) – a passage or path for walking

    Hundreds of people walk along the city’s walkways every day.


Read the text below.

Stockholm city council has drawn up plans to ban diesel and gas cars from its downtown commercial area.

The aim is to reduce pollution, but some opposition politicians think the strategy will make life difficult for residents. The Swedish capital plans to introduce a new ban on gasoline and diesel cars from the downtown commercial area in 2025.

The measure will cover a 20-block section of the city, already adorned with parks, extensive bike lanes, and spacious sidewalks. This area comprises various shops, pedestrian walkways, and some residential buildings. The aim is to combat pollution, decrease noise, and promote the use of electric vehicles.

The idea is to create an “environmental zone” where only electric vehicles will be allowed. There will be some exceptions, such as for emergency vehicles and transportation for the disabled.

Many European capitals have restrictions on gasoline and diesel cars, but Lars Strömgren, the city council member in charge of the Swedish capital’s transportation, says Stockholm’s complete ban would be a first.

Some aren’t convinced things will go smoothly.

Nike Örbrink, from the opposition Christian Democrats, is concerned the plan will hurt businesses and the hotel industry. “I’m really in favor of Stockholm and other capitals taking the lead role in transitioning to more green cities, meanwhile these specific policies do not lead to any positive effects. It only harms local businesses, takes police resources to enforce the ban, and also makes it more difficult for people living in the city and outside of the city that does not have or can’t afford changing vehicle,” she says.

Some local residents welcome the plan. Others don’t think it goes far enough. But for Kerstin Åkerstedt, who lives in the neighborhood, any move toward a greener environment is a win.

“I think it’s a good idea because we are living in the neighborhood and we think the area is a bit polluted even though the traffic is not so bad in this center. But still, I think it’s a good idea because we need to care about the climate for the future generation,” she says.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The article mentioned that people are concerned about the ban’s negative effect on businesses; however, they also recognize Stockholm’s lead role in transitioning to greener cities. Considering this, do you think that the ban is still a necessary move even if it might hurt some businesses? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think people in your country would welcome the idea of having an “environmental zone” where diesel and gas cars are not allowed? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your opinion, how important are public opinions, especially opposing ones, when it comes to the government’s decision-making on new policies and rules? Do you think that the government should not continue with its decisions if the public disapproves? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your decision-making process, do you consider opposing opinions from others? Why or why not? What do you think is the importance of considering the pros and cons of a decision? Discuss.