The Danish Environmental Zones « Miljøzonen »
A pure air for the inhabitants in the large cities of Denmark: this is the main goal for the introduction of environmental zones (Miljøzonen) in the four largest cities in the country.
Thanks to the EcoSticker, emissions of fine particulates have been tremendously reduced. Emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and from other pollutants have been unfortunately less reduced but they will have to be more and more taken into account by the environmental authorities in the future.
Lorries and Busses and particularly those responding to the standard EURO 3, which are the most polluting, must be equipped with a particulate filter in order to emit less fine particulates or they will be banished from the traffic in the Danish environmental zones. The diesel Lorries and busses EURO 1 and EURO 2 are permanently excluded from the environmental zones.
For this purpose, the Danish government modified in 2006 the “environmental law” to allow the municipalities of Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus and Odense to set up environmental zones and to decide on their shape and contours.
The most polluting vehicles driving in the environmental zones, which are Lorries and busses, need a green EcoSticker ; the vehicles responding to the standard EURO 3 have to be equipped with a particulate filter in any case. If those requirements are not fulfilled, an exceptional authorisation in the form of a red Ecosticker can be possibly obtained.
On 1st November 2011 (3 years after the introduction of the EcoSticker for Danish Lorries and busses), the obligation of bearing the EcoSticker has been extended to foreign Lorries and busses, which are allowed to drive in the environmental zones if they bear an EcoSticker.
Thanks to the introduction of environmental zones in the largest cities of Denmark, the emissions of air pollutants have been tremendously reduced since 2009 in a short and long perspective, the development of energy efficient vehicles has been promoted and the oldest vehicles have been step by step banned from the traffic.