Brussels offers commuters free P+R car parks and bike sharing

May 18, 2020

Several peripheral car parks in Brussels will become free of charge as of Monday, 18 May. Commuters will also receive a free six-month subscription to pedal with a shared bike to their destination. With this Park + Bike initiative, the Brussels government wants to avoid the overwhelming use of public transport during the reopening of […]

Belgian Oil Federation: ‘diesel still 75% of market’

May 14, 2020

According to data from the Belgian Oil Federation, diesel continues its slow drop in the fuel market. However, it remains the number one fuel with 75% market share, mostly due to the country’s important fleet of trucks. The Federation points out that recent diesel engines are cleaner than ever before, and that they produce 15 […]

Governments don’t want to be milch cows anymore

May 12, 2020

The corona crisis has led to significant economic fall-out. Many companies are looking to governments and public authorities to save them. In principle, those authorities want to comply, but not at any price. They don’t want to be simple milch cows anymore. On Monday, for example, the French Minister for Economy, Bruno le Maire, has […]

Rome is getting ready for bikes, Romans surely not

May 11, 2020

Romans think cycling is heavy, dangerous, slow, and unhandy. But they’ll have to put up with it. The city government uses the corona crisis to make way for the bicycle. Even before the schools reopen in September, there should be 150 km of new cycle paths in the Italian capital. Life-threatening Cycling is an absolute […]

Car fleet gets ‘greener’ but emissions remain too high

May 08, 2020

In 2019, the average ecological score of the car fleet in Flanders went up, but CO2 emissions didn’t go down that much as in previous years. That is what the Flemish Department for the Environment communicated on Thursday. ‘Eco score’ The global ‘eco score’ of the 3,5 million passenger cars in Flanders registered in Flanders […]

‘Green economic restart for Covid-19 aftermath’

May 05, 2020

A study published on Tuesday in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy estimates that a ‘green’ economic restart for the after-coronavirus period would be the most effective. 231 finance officials, bankers, and experts, plus 92 big French companies’ CEO wish to invest in renewable energy, more energy-efficient buildings, sustainable agriculture, and ‘clean’ R&D. As authorities […]

BBL: ‘Flanders will meet climate goals thanks to corona’

May 04, 2020

Flanders will probably meet its climate targets. Not because of its effective policy but rather due to the corona crisis. That is what a prognosis of environmental organization Bond Better Leefmilieu (BBL) says. The organization warns that it is just a once-only effect of the lockdown, and that structural measures will still be necessary to […]

’11 000 fewer premature deaths by improved air quality’

April 30, 2020

The air quality in Europe has improved spectacularly as a consequence of the corona measures and has prevented 11 300 premature deaths. That is the conclusion of the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air in Helsinki (Finland). In Belgium alone, 250 premature deaths are avoided. Air quality In the past few weeks, millions […]

Eneco clashes with Engie on electricity production

April 29, 2020

On Tuesday, energy producer Eneco has published an open letter in several Belgian newspapers deploring it has to shut down its windmills. At the same time, nuclear power plants continue to work at maximum capacity. The corona crisis has an important side-effect: the collapsed demand for energy. That triggered the oil prices to go down. […]

‘Space spy’ uncovers massive methane emissions in US

April 28, 2020

The vast oil and gas fields in the southern United States emit twice as much methane as the American authorities believe. This immense contribution to the climate problem was detected out of space by the Dutch space tool Tropomi. Tropomi is a Dutch-built measuring instrument that circulates the globe and detects pollution. 2 700 tons […]

T&E: ‘Even in worst-case EV emits 28% less CO2’

April 21, 2020

A new, comprehensive study published by the European Federation Transport & Environment makes it very clear that an electric vehicle (EV) is always cleaner than a classic one with an internal combustion engine (ICE). In the EU, it emits three times less CO2 on average. The study is confirming the results of a Dutch study […]

Zone 30 in entire Brussels Region approved

April 17, 2020

The Brussels Government has approved the decision to impose a maximum speed limit of 30 km/hour throughout the territory of the Brussels Region from 1 January 2021. At the end of May, a definitive map will be published with the roads that are still an exception to the speed limit of the ‘City 30′ and […]

Mixed feelings about Shell’s new climate goals

April 17, 2020

The Dutch-British oil and gas group, Shell, wants to achieve zero emissions from its own production chain by 2050 at the latest. However, there is criticism. Shell would not be ambitious enough, and zero emissions only apply to the production chain. Shell wants to reduce the net emissions of the products it sells to its […]

Flemish government to relax measures for climate investments

April 15, 2020

The Flemish government is going to relax the regulation to give investors of energy projects more time to finish their projects favorably. It is Flemish Minister of Energy, Zuhal Demir (N-VA), who took the initiative. She wants to avoid that Flanders will miss out on investments in the energy transition due to the corona crisis. […]

Call for green relaunch plans after corona

April 10, 2020

Many call upon governments to couple post-corona relaunch plans to ecological transition. A proposal from Denmark to attribute economic support in the spirit of the European Green Deal has gained the support of eight EU Member States. Belgium is not one of them since there is no consensus between the different regions. The cause lies […]

Freight transport by rail decreases by 20%

April 09, 2020

Paul Hegge, the representative of the Belgian Rail Freight Forum, sounds the alarm bell as today he sees a 20% drop in demand for rail freight transport. Railway transports are the EU’s backbone for delivering essential goods. The logistics of running trains across national borders that are closed due to the corona crisis are complicated […]

EEA: ‘Pandemic is putting a damper on green progress’

April 08, 2020

Now that everybody has to stay home, air pollution and CO2 emissions have decreased, and plant and animal life prospers. Still, let’s not misjudge the situation, warns Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the European Environment Agency (EEA). “This pandemic is rather putting a damper on the green progress,” he says. Crystal clear water Despite the […]

Biomass and waste incineration not as green as pretended?

April 07, 2020

While the CO2 taxes Europe is imposing are getting higher every year, there seems to be a problem in the sector of green energy production. International agreements make clear that CO2 emissions have to be reduced and that sustainable energy sources have to be prioritized. But what about biomass energy plants and waste incineration? Researchers […]

Belgian industry pays record for CO2 emissions

April 07, 2020

The Belgian industry paid €344 million last year to be allowed to emit carbon dioxide. While CO₂ emissions from industry in Europe fell by 8 to 11% last year, in Belgium they rose by 1,6%. On a worldwide scale, CO2 emissions were also up. With 46,3 million tons of CO₂, large industrial companies in the […]

Corona: climate actions on hold

April 06, 2020

Two of the most important meetings of the United Nations will be postponed until next year. Both the climate summit and a summit about biodiversity are delayed as a consequence of the corona pandemic. COP26 delayed The United Nations are deferring their climate summit for 2020, COP26, to next year. This yearly meeting was to […]

UA: 83% of streets in Antwerp are ‘street canyons’

April 01, 2020

“Almost all the streets in the city center of Antwerp are highly polluted.” That is one of the first conclusions of a study organized by the Antwerp University. Antwerp has a lot of densely populated streets with high buildings – the so-called ‘street canyons’ – where pollution is ‘trapped’. Pollution The study started in 2018 […]

‘First heatwave registered in Antarctica’

March 31, 2020

The Antarctic continent has gone through its first heatwave. That is the conclusion of some scientists. They have expressed their concern about the possible damage of similar phenomena in the long term to vegetation, animals, and ecosystems. Casey In the summer of 2019-2020, scientists of the Australian Antarctic Program registered the first heatwave registered by […]

Seamade: race at sea against corona

March 27, 2020

In the harbor of Ostend, there is raging a race against the coronavirus. The builders are accelerating the construction works of Seamade, the largest wind energy farm in the Belgian North Sea. “A lack of supply would be a disaster.” Largest construction site Today, Seamade is the largest construction site in our country that is […]

EU emission rules divide European car industry

March 27, 2020

The European car manufacturer association, ACEA, is preparing an official demand to postpone the stringent EU rules on CO2 emissions entering into force by the end of this year. But inside the organization, not all ducks are in a row yet, and there will also be fierce opposition from the EU Parliament. The car manufacturers […]

Dutch study proves ‘EVs always better for climate’

March 25, 2020

A study of Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), together with the universities of Exeter and Cambridge in the UK, is formal: electric vehicles are always more environmentally friendly. Even when the electricity used to drive the EVs is partly made with fossil fuels like gas or even coal, the balance is still positive for the […]

Biofuels: kelp farms operated by underwater drones?

March 24, 2020

Giant ocean seaweed farms operated by underwater drones to produce biofuels that can be used in aviation or road transport. It sounds like science fiction, but it is a scientific experiment funded by the US government. Giant farms of kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) of several hectares in the middle of the ocean would be brought to […]

Buying energy is cheaper than investing in solar roofs

March 23, 2020

Because the price of electricity is currently very low, it is more interesting to buy electricity abroad than to invest in your wind turbines or solar power. Unfavorable situation “It is not attractive to invest in a new wind energy project or a solar roof. It doesn’t look good for the coming years either,” says […]

Oil giant Total buys itself into floating wind parks

March 23, 2020

French oil giant, Total, is buying itself into floating wind parks in the Celtic Sea, the area between the south coast of Ireland and the most westerly tip of the UK, Land’s End. It announced taking an 80%  participation in the floating Erebus project of British Simply Blue Energy Ltd. Total didn’t specify how much […]

Lockdown ‘solves’ traffic congestion problems

March 19, 2020

On the Belgian highways, it was remarkably quiet on Wednesday and Thursday. Between 05.30 and 9 a.m., one of the busiest moments of the day, there were barely ten kilometers of traffic jams. Without the corona measures, there are on average 155 kilometers of traffic jams in rush hours. Less traffic It isn’t a surprise […]

Corona: temporary positive effect on environment

March 19, 2020

If there is one positive thing about the coronavirus, it’s the effect on the environment. Air quality has improved in China, Italy, and even Belgium. Since the end of January, nitrogen dioxide levels in the air in China have decreased by 35%. Crystal clear water Same story in Italy, since the country was put in […]

Volkswagen summoned in Amsterdam court for dieselgate

March 17, 2020

Autoconcern Volkswagen has been summoned by the Dutch Diesel Emissions Justice Foundation because of the diesel scandal. That’s what the Dutch press agency ANP writes. In addition to Volkswagen, the foundation, which is committed to all registered European victims, also sues cheating software developer Robert Boch, importer Pon, and individual Dutch dealers in court in […]

The limits of a ‘Green Deal’

March 16, 2020

Europe has launched its ‘Green Deal’ recently, and also in the States, there is a proposition for ‘a green new deal’ on behalf of the Democrats. Both deals have a big number of points in common, but they also have important limits, some say. Both plans want CO2-neutrality in 2050, the change to renewable energy, […]

Study: e-scooter’s CO2 footprint larger than alternatives

March 11, 2020

Shared electric scooters pollute more than the modes of transport they replace. That’s the conclusion of a study led by researchers at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The reason is their insufficient life span, combined with the high impact of production. The scientists investigated the use of these electric two-wheelers in Brussels. A shared […]

Oil price plummets: daily ‘profit’ of €13 million for Belgium

March 10, 2020

The price of crude oil crashed due to lower demand and higher production. One barrel now costs $35, a drop of 22%. It has been since the Gulf War in the early 1990s that the price of crude oil fell so much again in one day. The lower demand is the result of the coronavirus, […]

Air-gen: making electricity out of plain air

March 10, 2020

American researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (MA) have found a way to let a natural protein produce electricity using the moisture of plain air. Their ‘Air-gen’ – an air-powered generator – as they call it, can deliver pure ‘clean’ electricity on a non-stop 24/7-base, without needing any wind or solar energy. When […]

Airlines forced to keep on flying to secure their rights

March 10, 2020

The growing concerns about the coronavirus are causing Kaskaesque scenes in aviation. Airline companies like KLM and EasyJet see themselves forced to fly with half-empty planes to secure their rights to fly. ‘Historic rights’ Anywhere in the world, airlines are confronted with unsold last-minute tickets, annulments, and passengers not showing up. Last week, International Air […]

Europe got 36 new hydrogen filling stations in 2019

March 06, 2020

Last year, the European network of hydrogen (H2) filling stations grew with 36 to a total of 177. Germany got the lion’s share with 22 new ones. Worldwide, 83 new H2 filling stations were opened: 38 in Asia, 8 in North America, and one in the Arab region. At the end of 2019, the total […]

Somers to push for one EV charger per 200 inhabitants

March 04, 2020

Bart Somers, Flemish Minister for Internal Affairs (Open Vld), wants to push local governments to enable the roll-out of at least one EV charging point per 200 inhabitants by 2025. For 6,5 million Flemish, that would mean 34 000 public charging points. It’s not pep talk only, but he also promises them financial support out […]

Mechelen to invest 2 million in shared mobility

March 04, 2020

This year, the city of Mechelen will invest almost two million euros in shared cars, cargo bikes, and scooters. “We want to become the forerunner when it comes to shared mobility.” As of April, inhabitants of the city who turn in their license plate will be rewarded with a mobility budget. Mechelen already is one […]

Air quality in Brussels continues to improve

March 03, 2020

For the first time, the emission standards for fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in Brussels did not exceed the norms set by the European Union. Some measuring stations even met the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which are much stricter than those of the EU and which are followed by Brussels. With […]

VW ‘pulls plug’ on cars on natural gas

March 03, 2020

German carmaker Volkswagen will no longer develop new cars on compressed natural gas (CNG). According to its Chief of Development, Frank Welsch, in the German newspaper Handelsblatt, it’s more trouble than it’s worth as sales figures are low. VW expects them not to increase dramatically anymore and wants to bet entirely on the electric car. […]

Dutch plan world’s biggest wind farm and hydrogen plant

February 28, 2020

Oil giant Shell, the Dutch gas network company Gasunie and Groningen Seaports want to build a mega-offshore wind farm and a mega-hydrogen plant in the north of the country. The electricity will be used to mass-produce hydrogen by electrolysis. Hydrogen can be transported throughout north-west Europe using the obsolete Groningen natural gas infrastructure. The NortH2 […]

Dutch will no longer have to register to enter Ghent’s LEZ

February 27, 2020

Dutch tourists coming to Ghent by car will no longer have to register when entering the Low-Emission Zone (LEZ). They’ll soon be checked automatically. Any car – even brand new Euro 6 or electric – that did not register will be fined €150 for the time being. This is a bizarre situation, especially since this […]

‘Green’ hydrogen project in Zeebrugge gets green light

February 27, 2020

Belgian retailer group, Colruyt, and gas grid manager, Fluxys, have given the green light for the plans to build together a 25 MW hydrogen electrolysis plant in the harbor of Zeebrugge. The new project called HyoffWind will use ‘green’ electricity from the offshore windmill parks to produce ‘green’ hydrogen. Initially, the initiators hesitated between Antwerp […]

Brussels has ‘alternative’ congestion tax plan in the pipeline

February 27, 2020

The government of the Brussels-Capital Region intends to charge motorists traveling in the capital.  The rate, applicable to all, should vary according to the time of the day. That’s what the newspaper Le Soir writes. The ‘alternative’ plan came about because the discussions with both the Flemish and the Walloon Regions about the introduction of […]

Does Norwegian constitution allow drilling oil in polar region?

February 27, 2020

Does the Norwegian constitution allow drilling for oil in the Barents Sea? That is the question that Greenpeace Norway and the climate youngsters of ‘Natur og Ungdom’ (Nature and Youth) want to have answered by the Norwegian Supreme Court. That is why they’ve taken the matter to the highest jurisdictional authority of the country. They […]

Panasonic ends joint production of solar panels with Tesla

February 27, 2020

The Japanese electronics concern, Panasonic, wants to bring its cooperation with electric car manufacturer Tesla to an end, some anonymous sources reported to the press agency, Bloomberg. Both companies already have a joint solar panel factory for two years now, but it still isn’t running on full capacity. Loss-making departments According to the sources, Panasonic […]

Price of public charging often unclear

February 26, 2020

Unlike gasoline or diesel at the pump, the price of charging at a public charge point is rarely clear to consumers. As a result, they could be surprised by the amount of the invoice at the end of the month. For example, there is sometimes a ‘starting rate’ for charging and the rates of different […]

European companies fail to meet Paris climate targets

February 25, 2020

European companies are expected to double the share of their low-carbon investments if Europe wants to reach its 2050 carbon-neutral target. This is evident from figures collected by the specialist association Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a British NGO that collects information on the climate behavior of businesses. According to the annual report of CDP, some […]

Zity electric car-sharing comes to Paris

February 25, 2020

Zity will replace Moov’in as the Renault-backed free-floating car-sharing service in Paris. The French car manufacturer is changing its partner in the French capital and chooses the Spanish company Ferrovial to deploy its car-sharing service. Moov’in Paris, the electric car rental service set up in 2018 with the car rental company Ada, is, therefore, ceasing […]

German court grands Tesla permission to cut trees for giga-factory

February 24, 2020

Tesla has restarted the cutting of trees on a 92-hectare site where the first European plant of the electric car manufacturer will be built. Several environmental organizations had opposed the felling of trees, but the German judge swept away the objections. First European plant The American carmaker is in a hurry to get its colossal […]

Electric Touring Car Championship ready for take-off

February 20, 2020

In 2021 a new touring car championship will start with strictly electric cars. This year the Pure ETCR championship will be presented during promo events and in the context of existing WTCR races. This was officially presented in Paris last week. Another Formula E? After the Formula E championship for single-seater electric cars, there will […]

Brussels-City joins forces with the Solar Impulse Foundation

February 20, 2020

The City of Brussels signed on Wednesday with Bertrand Piccard, the Solar Impulse pilot with two world tours under his belt, a collaboration agreement for its ecological transition. The agreement aims at providing concrete and immediate responses to the climate emergency. It is valid for a renewable period of two years, but the partnership is […]

‘Fake’ plug-in hybrids pay a lot more taxes in 2020

February 20, 2020

Plug-in hybrids that don’t fulfill the new requirements are much more expensive this year. The fiscal advantage of those lease-cars dwindles: halving of the fiscal deduction percentage, up to four times more benefit of all nature. Fraud use of these so-called ‘fake’ plug-in hybrids has caused new, more stringent requirements for PHEVs to comply with. […]

Coronavirus: ‘CO2 emissions in China down with one quarter’

February 20, 2020

The breakout of the coronavirus that is slowing down economic activities in China made CO2 emissions in the country go down with one quarter. That is the conclusion of a study by climate organization Carbon brief. The effect, however, would only be temporary. Drastic measures After the coronavirus broke out around the Chinese New Year […]

‘Fine particles in the air affect our brains’

February 19, 2020

Fine particles in the air are not only an unseen killer, but the polluted air also affects our mental capacities. Pollution can cause infections in the lungs, which in turn can lead to infections in our brains. Chess players More and more studies show that fine particles in the air can harm our intellectual capacities. […]

Nature’s extinction is costing a fortune

February 18, 2020

For the first time, the cost of damaging nature is calculated in money. Conclusion? The extinction of species and the erosion of natural habitat is extremely expensive. Without any urgent measures, the world economy will have to sacrifice thousands of billions of euros in the coming thirty years to save the planet. Macroeconomic costs The […]

Ghent LEZ will be expanded after evaluation

February 18, 2020

The Ghent Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) will be extended during this legislature. However, when and in which districts will be thoroughly examined the next few years. The Ghent majority parties confirmed this on Monday during the municipal council. There will be a phased, zonally introduction, and a study to evaluate the social impact and flanking measures […]

Tesla’s German giga-factory delayed by ‘illegal logging’

February 18, 2020

The felling of a part of the German forest in which Tesla’s European giga-factory is to be located has been halted. The environmental movement ‘Grüne Liga Brandenburg’ has gone to court because Tesla already felled trees without a building permit. Some 300 hectares of trees have to be cut down for the factory. Many German […]

‘Carmakers to pay €14 billion in CO2 fines’

February 17, 2020

According to a study from PA Consulting, the thirteen carmakers active in Europe will have to pay 14 billion euros in CO2 fines in 2021. PA adds that to keep emissions under the 95 g/km limit, EV sales should increase by 1 280%. 2020 is already an exciting year for the automotive sector. Most major […]