Calling for progress with Lisbon's promised Reduced Emissions Zone (ZER), Zero stresses, in a statement, that the city is "on the verge of once again exceeding the limit value for nitrogen dioxide", which comes out of cars , on Avenida da Liberdade, "risking a fine from the European Union".

"After 2020, and for the first time since the current European legislation on air quality came into force, the Av. da Liberdade station managed to comply with the annual limit value of 40 ug/m3 with regard to carbon dioxide nitrogen, everything indicates that this will not happen in 2021. At the moment, the annual average is 40.2 ug/m3 and the values ​​since October inclusive" are "at levels equivalent to practically double those registered between January and September of 2021", writes the association.

Zero emphasizes that there are an increasing number of "reduced emission zones" (ZER, which prevents the entry of the most polluting cars) and "zero emission zones" (ZZE, which prevents the entry of any car), currently rising to 250, in a growing trend that Portugal does not follow.

In addition to being considered by governments and local authorities across Europe as "fundamental instruments in protecting clean air in cities and the climate", these reduced emission zones are, Zero maintains, beneficial to local businesses and, in particular, to shopping at Christmas time.

"In the case of Madrid, at Christmas 2018, the average expenditure on local businesses increased by 8.6% in the area covered by the ZER, compared to 3.3% in the city in general", reads the statement from the association.

"The data also show that when such policies are combined with strong investments in public transport, the results are even more positive" and that, "contrary to what is the common thinking of store owners, walking customers, cycling or using public transport tend to spend more money on local commerce than car drivers" assures Zero.