In a new report on developing a zero-emission city, the ruling red-green coalition proposes to start with a small area that is home to just 2,700 people.
“We are aiming for a step-by-step expansion. The experts initially proposed starting with an area called ‘Car-free City Living’, and then to expand the zone to include ring 2,” Lan Marie Berg, the city councillor in charge of transport, told the VG newspaper.
“The goal is to study the alternatives so that this can be implemented during 2026 in ring 2, and in Ring 1 by the end of next year.”
Oslo’s city government does not have the authority to ban petrol and diesel cars, Norway’s Conservative-led coalition government has said it would support zero-emission zones in Oslo and Bergen.
Locally, however, the centre-right Conservative party opposes the plan to establish such as zone across so much of the city centre.
“The Conservatives will not agree to a ban on petrol and diesel cars within Ring 2 as early as 2026,” Nicolai Øyen Langfeldt the party’s Oslo environment and transport spokesperson, told VG. “We must stop thinking that the only way to the goal is prohibition.”
The party is, however, open to discussing the more limited zero-emissions zone around the city hall.
Berg acknowledged that the plan to establish a pilot ban next year was ambitious.
“It is short notice, but that’s precisely the reason to build up speed with a pilot where we can gain experience of a zero-emissions zone,” she said. “Emissions in Oslo will be reduced to zero within nine years and then all cars must have zero emissions. Road traffic accounts for half of the greenhouse gas emissions in Oslo.”
She called on all residents in the city to shift to having an electric car as soon as possible.