Brussels carbon neutral in 2050: ‘everyone’s responsibility’
New Brussels Environment and Climate Transition Minister, Alain Maron (Ecolo), explains how the Region will reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Brussels must act on housing, mobility, circular economy, and waste to drastically reduce its CO2 emissions. The Minister pushes to reduce cars in the city to a minimum and to increase the housing renovation rate to 3 to 5% per year.
In spite of only recently taking his seat at the Brussels Government table, the new Environment and Climate Transition Minister doesn’t hesitate or lack ambition. “Our objectives can only be met if everyone goes in the same direction. The climate transition must become a central axis,” declares Alain Maron (Ecolo).
-95% in 30 years
The Region’s ambition is strong. By 2050, the government wants Brussels to be carbon-neutral. To put it in context, between 1990 and 2017, the Region reduced its emissions by 13%. To meet the 2050 objectives, it must aim at a 95% reduction.
Alain Maron insists: everyone must get on-board. The new minister takes the opportunity to describe the regional government’s road map to meet the objective.
Housing and mobility
Housing is one of the city’s most polluting sources by far, weighing at 60% in all CO2 emissions in 2017. The solution? Increasing the renovation rate to build cleaner houses. The minister wants that rate to increase from 1% to between 3 to 5%.
“A private car, it’s 1,5 to 2 tons of vehicle transporting only one or two people. It’s absurd! We must switch to public transport and lighter alternative solutions. First, let’s start walking. Brussels will become a 30-kph-zone, so there’s no need for vehicles capable of doing 200 kph. Those will have to stay outside of the city,” declares the Minister.
What about the kilometer tax? Plan A is to put it all in place in coalition with the other Regions. “We’ll see what Flanders and Wallonia will have to say. But we won’t wait for another five to ten years,” he adds. Still, the new minister boasts ambitious measures but without ever mentioning any budget. “The financial equation is ambitious but complex,” declares Alain Maron.