As part of a proposal on improving air quality in the city, Jensen wants to keep diesel cars off Copenhagen’s roads, writes newspaper Politiken.
“It’s not a human right to pollute the air for others. That’s why diesel cars must be phased out,” Jensen told the newspaper.
The mayor admitted that the proposal was “controversial” and an “intervention”, but said he felt it was necessary.
“I know it will mean something for the many, many Copenhageners that are affected by respiratory illnesses,” he said.
Research shows that around 80 people, primarily elderly or frail, die each year in the city due to air pollution caused locally, including nitrous oxides from traffic, writes Politiken.
The potential ban would apply to all diesel cars registered after January 1st 2019, according to the report.
Motorists who already own diesel cars would be permitted to continue driving them in the city.
A law change – requiring a parliamentary majority – would be required for Jensen’s proposal to become reality.
Even if this is not achieved, Jensen will accelerate city parking license fees on diesel cars to 2,300 kroner (300 euros) from January 1st 2019, according to the report.
Jensen’s broader proposal also includes a limit on the number of wood-burning stoves in Copenhagen homes; speeding up the transition from diesel to electric-powered city buses; and requiring the many cruise ships that visit the city to run on electricity while docked.
Diesel-powered trucks and vans could also be encompassed by the proposal, with these required to meet EU standards on pollution.
Steffen Loft, a pollution researcher at Copenhagen University, told Politiken the proposal was an “important signal” for phasing out diesel in Copenhagen.
But Loft criticised Jensen’s proposal for allowing older, more polluting diesel vehicles to remain on the city’s roads while banning more environmentally-friendly modern designs.