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Stockholm to Ban Gas-Powered Cars from Its Center

Sweden’s capital has a bold plan to boost EV adoption.

Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

As cities from New York to Paris to London do battle over driving restrictions in their downtowns, The New York Timesreports that Sweden’s capital is proposing one of the boldest measures yet: Beginning in 2025, it will ban most diesel and gas-powered cars from Stockholm’s city center. Drivers who break the rule, which will take effect on January 1, 2025, will be fined about $90 — far more than similar drivers in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, who must pay around $15 per day for the privilege of soiling the air.

Lars Strömgren, Stockholm’s vice mayor for transport, told the Times that “Petrol and diesel cars are prohibited, period ... one goal is to push technology and innovation within the transportation sector.” And it seems that the country will need all the help that it can get: Sweden’s conservative national government has for the past year worked to reverse the country’s environmental progress, lowering gas taxes and relaxing fuel requirements. Still, according to Mobility Sweden, a majority of Sweden’s new car registrations in the first half of the year have been to plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

Predictably, Sweden’s transport industry is also unhappy with the ban. “Since 2010, we have reduced emissions by 34%,” the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises said, according toThe Guardian. “But the Green Party and their colleagues in the city of Stockholm are now in far too much of a hurry.” The Confederation did not specify when, exactly, would be an opportune time to clean the country’s air.

Jacob Lambert

Jacob is Heatmap's founding multimedia editor. Before joining Heatmap, he was The Week's digital art director and an associate editor at MAD magazine. Read More

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Coral Bleaching Is a $9 Trillion Problem

A new report forecasts a future where reefs go over a “tipping point.”

A coral reef in color and black and white.
Heatmap illustration/Getty Images

Coral reefs are a thing of wonder, both organism and underwater infrastructure that houses thousands of species of fish. They are also, as you might already know, in grave danger. Climate change is contributing to massive waves of coral bleaching around the world, from the Great Barrier Reef to the ocean off of Florida, where an extreme oceanic heat wave this year turned mile after mile of reef a ghostly white.

We’ve known about coral bleaching for years, but a new report out Wednesday draws fresh attention to corals’ plight, including reefs — along with ice sheets, rainforests, and ocean currents, among others — on a list of imminent climate “tipping points.” And if they go over the brink, the consequences could reach far beyond the ocean floor.

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