France: EV’s for €100/month for the poorest citizens

May 27, 2022

The French government is working on a project to provide the poorest inhabitants with an electric car at a cost of 100 euros per month. The proposal, first proposed by the Socialist candidate and mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and promised by newly elected president Emmanuel Macron during his first campaign speech on 17 March, […]

Flanders must pay €850 000 for failing Air Policy Plan

May 25, 2022

The Flemish government must pay environmental organization Greenpeace a penalty of 850 000 euros. The Air Policy Plan drawn up after a judgment by the Brussels Court of First Instance does not meet the requirements of that judgment, Greenpeace reports. “Flanders still does not have a sufficiently ambitious air action plan,” the organization denounces. No […]

German farmer brings Volkswagen to court over climate change

May 23, 2022

The district court of Detmold started a historic court trial against Volkswagen on Friday. The accusor is Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, a German organic farmer who claims that the German car giant is responsible for the demise of his farm, with his crops and animals suffering from global warming. Greenpeace supports the court case. Allhoff-Cramer is a […]

60% of Belgians want climate-neutrality by 2050

May 11, 2022

Climate change remains a ‘top of mind’ issue. Eight out of ten worry about climate change, and six out of ten Belgian citizens support the Belgian en European target to become climate neutral by 2050. However, only three out of ten feel that also families have to contribute. The figures come from the fifth national […]

‘E-scooter accidents often linked to alcohol and night driving’

April 27, 2022

In 84% of e-scooter accidents, the user is the only one involved, and the condition of the road, the light, and driving under the influence are often the cause. One-third of the victims were drunk. This is shown by a study on e-scooter accidents carried out for a year among patients admitted to the emergency […]

Belgium to ban smoking on rail platforms from 2023

April 21, 2022

From 1 January 2023, Belgium will ban smoking on station platforms of railway company NMBS/SNCB. On Wednesday, the Chamber’s Mobility Committee approved a bill proposed by the green fraction for this purpose. According to the authors, a similar measure is already in place in the Netherlands, with success. NMBS/SNCB supports the decision to make platforms […]

Oosterweel works halted again due to PFOS pollution

April 20, 2022

The Council of State has decided to stop the works of the Antwerp Oosterweel connection for a second time after receiving complaints from environmental organizations Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL) and Greenpeace. Both contest the restart of the earth-moving activities on the left bank of the river Scheldt. It’s the second time that the Council of […]

‘Thirty-day break of your car feels a lot better’

April 20, 2022

Thirty days without using your car. Quite a challenge. But is it feasible? The Belgian Network for Sustainable Mobility urges to give it a try. The goal of the ’30 Dagen Minder Wagen’ campaign is to change our travel habits and experiment (more) with more sustainable mobility solutions. The initiators hope to motivate people to […]

CARA declared more than 500 Flemish people unfit to drive

March 28, 2022

Driving suitability center CARA, a subdivision of the traffic institute Vias, has given negative advice to 543 persons in 2021. The number corresponds to 11,6% of the 4 660 files from the Flemish region that were handled. Almost half of the people whom CARA deemed fit for driving had to make one or more adjustments […]

Peeters kicks off new campaign to get people biking

March 21, 2022

Last weekend, Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), and the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Science (Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde, VSV) launched a new campaign to get more people on the bicycle. “Especially for short-distance trips,” she added. She gave the kick-off in Oudenaarde (East of Flanders). One of the figureheads of the campaign is […]

CurieuzenAir: ‘air quality in Brussels better than expected’

March 21, 2022

In general, the air quality in the Brussels region is better than expected. However, standards are still exceeded in the capital center and the vicinity of significant traffic axes. The results were obtained from CurieuzenAir, the most extensive air quality study of Brussels. As part of the CurieuzenAir project, air quality measurements were taken at 3 […]

Federal Ombudsman wants aerial LEZ at Brussels Airport

March 16, 2022

The noisiest and heaviest aircraft must be banned from Brussels Airport. That is what the Federal Ombudsman for the national airport, Philippe Touwaide, has stated at a press conference on Tuesday. “There are infringements every night, and we don’t pursue them,” Touwaide said, citing the case of noisy aircraft such as Boeing 777s at night […]

For first time Dutch buy more e-bikes than classic ones

March 11, 2022

Last year, the sales of bicycles in the Netherlands decreased significantly (-16%) due to continuous supply problems. The sales of e-bikes, however, increased. According to sector organization Bovag and RAI Association, more than half of all bicycles (52%) sold in 2021 were e-bikes. It’s the first time the e-bike seems to be more popular than […]

Segway KickScooter GT2 reaches 70 km/h

March 04, 2022

Scooter maker Segway moves into unchartered territory with the KickScooter GT2, a high-performance model not only delivering a range of 90 kilometers, but also a top speed of 70 km/hour. That’s three times the legal speed for e-scooters in Belgium. The GT2 is far from regular. Where an e-scooter usually rides on 8-inch wheels, the […]

UN sign convention to end global plastic pollution

March 03, 2022

On Wednesday, the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) has endorsed a worldwide resolution to end plastic pollution by the end of 2024. The convention is called ‘historical’ and is one of the greenest deals since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. “Today marks a triumph by planet earth over single-use plastics. This is the most […]

Brussels’ Sainctelette-IJzer area will get complete make-over

March 02, 2022

Brussels Mobility wants to reorganize the Sainctelette Square and the IJzer Square that are lying side by side. Both squares should become one open space with more room and comfort for cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport. About three years ago, the Sainctelette Square was ‘declared’ Brussels’ most dangerous junction. The actual reorganization plans should alter […]

New IPCC report: ‘Nature can’t keep up with global warming’

March 01, 2022

The impact of climate change is more severe than expected. All over the world. Even when global warming would stop at 1,5 degrees Celsius. That is the conclusion of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations. The climate experts say that extreme weather conditions, floodings, and forest […]

‘Most European cities not ready for zero-emission mobility’

February 25, 2022

Most of the most prominent Belgian cities will still have a long way before achieving ‘clean, active, and shared mobility’. That is the conclusion of a study by the Clean Cities Campaign, a coalition of European regions. The study criticized the cities according to five criteria: traffic safety, air quality, local authorities’ measures (like low-emission […]

Brussels to seal off city center from transit traffic

February 17, 2022

The Brussels Pentagon will become a low-traffic area as of 16 August. The city council has announced this. Less transit traffic should make the center more livable, accounting for no less than 42% of total traffic. The aim is to use loops, one-way streets, and traffic filters (which do not allow cars through) to ensure […]

‘Air quality in about 70 Brussels’ schools alarming’

February 11, 2022

A study by the Brussels non-profit organization De Luchtzoekers (‘the air seekers’), presented on Thursday, indicates that the air quality in Brussels’ schools is questionable. In all schools where scientists checked the air quality, the results exceeded the World Health Organization’s maximum threshold of 10 micrograms/m3/year of nitrogen dioxide. “These results are alarming,” Brussels Minister […]

One in five youngsters combines driving and drugs

January 25, 2022

Since the corona crisis, the number of young drivers (18-34 years old) using drugs while driving increased gradually. The percentage of those who admit driving while intoxicated – at least once a month – went up from 11% to 19%. Not only drugs are a problem in traffic. Also, the combination of driving and the […]

T&E survey: ‘76% support stricter EU car emission rules’

January 18, 2022

According to a YouGov survey, a large majority of people support stricter EU car emission rules for manufacturers to make cars as clean as possible. YouGov, commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E), questioned more than 8 000 people from seven European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Roumania, and the Czech Republic. More than three-quarters […]

Brussels’Air scrap premium on hold due to automation

January 17, 2022

Since 1 January 2022, Euro 4 diesel vehicles, or the last generation of diesel vehicles without a particulate filter, have been banned from the Brussels Region due to the low emission zone (LEZ), at the risk of a fine of 350 euros. However, the planned support for the households who can – in exchange for […]

Dutch ‘invasion’ causes chockfull roads and trains in Belgium

December 29, 2021

The Dutch are in lockdown again. Shops, bars, and restaurants are closed, and the Dutch are massively crossing the borders for a day out in Belgium, despite calls of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD), the Dutch rail NS, and Antwerp governor Cathy Berx to stay home. As a consequence, traffic on roads and […]

Sick pilots force Lufthansa to cancel 33.000 flights

December 24, 2021

The German airline company Lufthansa has canceled several long-distance flights due to a shortage of pilots. Many pilots are ill and the company is forced to reschedule and even reduce the flights planned for January and February. Subsidiary company Brussels Airlines has had similar problems and also had to cancel one flight so far. “The […]

Flanders condemned again for slack air policy

December 15, 2021

The Court of Appeal in Brussels condemns the Flemish government for its failing air quality policy. It’s the final judgment in Greenpeace’s lawsuit against Flemish authorities, a case that started in 2017. As a consequence, the Flemish government has to submit an ambitious action plan and pay €750 000 damages. Greenpeace will use the money […]

Utrecht’s residents get subsidy to stop wood-burning

December 02, 2021

Residents of Utrecht (the Netherlands) can obtain subsidies for the removal of their wood-burning stoves and open fireplaces or disable them. Those who are willing to stop burning wood can get a subsidy of up to 2 000 euros. It’s a measure the city takes to reduce air pollution in residential areas. Many people love […]

Remote-sensing: ‘5% of diesel cars in Brussels emit 90% of particles’

November 23, 2021

Diesel cars in Brussels emit a disproportionate amount of polluting substances in the air. A small number of those cars are responsible for of large part of the air pollution in Brussels. That is the conclusion of a remote-sensing study by the Brussels Region. The study shows that it’s about time to remove the most […]

Coal power plants closed to fight New Delhi’s extreme air pollution

November 18, 2021

The Indian capital New Delhi has temporarily closed down six coal power plants in and around the city to fight against extreme air pollution. The metropolis is in ‘lockdown’. Public life is paralyzed, and schools and colleges are closed for an indefinite period of time. Civil servants have to telework, and non-essential vehicles are banned […]

EEA: Cleaner air could have saved 178 000 lives across EU

November 16, 2021

Air pollution is one of the most important environmental threats to human health, killing seven million people annually worldwide. However, figures are improving, states the European Environmental Agency (EEA) in a recent report ‘Health impacts of air pollution in Europe’. Air pollution – and especially the presence of fine particles in the air – caused […]

T&E: ‘Trucks still break EU emission limits in on-road testing’

November 08, 2021

On-road testing shows that even some of the newest trucks on Europe’s roads exceed the EU’s legal emission limits. When driving in towns or cities, emissions were particularly alarming, with highly toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at least doubling the legal limits. The testing was undertaken by the Technical University of Graz on behalf of […]

COP26: 100 countries to reduce 30% of methane emissions by 2030

November 03, 2021

More than a hundred countries have associated with an initiative of the European Union and the United States to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. The Global Methane Pledge should keep global warming at least 0,2 degrees Celsius lower than expected. “Methane is an extremely harmful greenhouse gas, responsible for 30% of global warming […]

‘Brussels LEZ significantly reduces polluting emissions’

October 27, 2021

The low-emission zone (LEZ) is not missing its effect in Brussels. Since June 2018, the disappearance of the oldest diesel vehicles has reduced emissions of black carbon, a measure of soot concentration, by more than a third. The 2020 monitoring of Brussels Environment shows this. The LEZ was introduced in Brussels to improve air quality, […]

WMO: ‘record CO2 emissions in 2020 despite lockdowns’

October 26, 2021

Despite the paralyzing effects of the corona lockdowns, greenhouse gas emissions broke all records in 2020. That is the conclusion of the latest WMO (World Meteorological Organization) report, the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, published on Monday. Corona turned the world upside down. People were forced to stay and work from home, airplanes were grounded, and factories […]

London expands ultra-low emission zone to be 18 times larger

October 26, 2021

On Monday, October 25th, the city of London has expanded its ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ). The ULEZ, introduced in 2019, was initially limited to the inner city but now is operative in a significantly expanded area. The new ULEZ now covers a quarter of London or eighteen times the size of the central London zone, […]

Mortality risk due to air pollution highest in Brussels’ deprived areas

October 21, 2021

The research group Interface Demography (ID) of Brussels’ university VUB has discovered that Brussels’ residents living in deprived neighborhoods have the highest mortality risk due to air pollution. The ‘Green & Quiet Brussels’ study showed that poor people’s risk of premature death is 27% higher and that high concentrations of particles are the most harmful. […]

Strasbourg Eurometropolis will roll out LEZ

October 18, 2021

The council of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg (EMS) has voted to set up a low-emission zone (LEZ) with an expected timetable for the gradual banning of the most polluting vehicles for the Alsatian capital and the 32 surrounding communes. The LEZ is scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2022, with a so-called ‘training […]

Particulate filter: rather lenient threshold before being flunked

October 18, 2021

As of 1 July 2022, diesel cars will fail the Brussels technical inspection if their exhaust gases exceed 1 million particles per cm3. This threshold appears in the draft decree allowing the integration of the particle counter (‘PN meter’) in the technical control in the capital. This test will replace the opacity test for Brussels’ […]

VMM: ‘Flanders’ air quality improves but still affects health’

October 15, 2021

VMM, the Flemish institute for the environment, reports that the air quality in Flanders improves year after year. The health impact of polluted air, however, is still a factor that cannot be neglected. According to a new VMM report, traffic is still one of the main culprits. The positive news is that emissions in Flanders […]

IEA warns: ‘Energy transition goes too slow’

October 14, 2021

Two weeks before the start of the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26), the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns that the energy transition is not happening fast enough. The agency sees a new energy economy emerging, but the clean energy progress is still far too slow to reach net-zero by 2050. “If we don’t invest […]

Belgian government confirms -55% CO2 reduction by 2030

October 11, 2021

The Belgian federal government has confirmed its previously announced climate ambition to reduce CO2 emissions by -55% by 2030. All ministers of the De Croo government got specific climate roadmaps for their departments and every six months progress will be evaluated. The ministers gathered on Friday, it was the first time they saw each other […]

Plan Bureau: ‘Greenhouse gas levels 2% higher than in 2014’

October 08, 2021

According to a new report by the Federal Plan Bureau (FPB), greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium were 2% higher in 2019 than in 2014. Carbon dioxide (CO2) represented 86% of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 16% between 2008 and 2019. But, after a gradual decline until their lowest level […]

31% of Flemish e-bike-riders cover more than 50 km a week

September 30, 2021

The e-bike has been generally adopted in Flanders, but now it’s becoming popular in Brussels and Wallonia too, traffic safety institute Vias noticed in a general survey, conducted with a representative sample of Belgian e-bike riders. The electric bicycle is gaining popularity year after year. First, the ‘hype’ was mainly seen in Flanders, but now […]

ArcelorMittal invests to reduce Flanders’ total CO2 emissions by 4%

September 29, 2021

ArcelorMittal, the multinational steel manufacturing corporation, is planning to invest 1,1 billion euros in its production unit in Ghent to reduce CO2 emissions drastically. “The initiative may be one of the largest climate investments in Belgium,” says Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen). “It shows the industry is a crucial partner.” The company that […]

Dieselgate: EU irritated over VW’s delaying tactics

September 29, 2021

EU Commissioner Didier Reynders (Justice, Consumer Protection) is getting irritated by the procrastination of the Volkswagen Group in the dieselgate saga. Reynders wants the same settlement for VW clients duped in the dieselgate affair living outside Germany. Reynders points out that the indemnity settlement for the German VW clients is not generalized all over Europe. […]

Janssen Pharma rewarded as golden cycle-friendly employer

September 24, 2021

The Flemish Bikers’ Confederation (Fietsersbond) has awarded the pharmaceutical company Janssen the ‘Cycle Friendly Employer Certificate’. The site in Beerse is the first employer in Belgium to receive the golden reward. The Cycle Friendly Employer Certificate was developed to establish a European standard for cycle-friendly companies. Together, CFE and Fietsersbond want to stimulate a cycle-friendly […]

WHO lowers air pollution limiting values to save millions of lives

September 23, 2021

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended limiting values for six polluting substances in the air have to come down. The new WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) are far more stringent than those of the EU and aim to save millions of lives from air pollution. Several recent studies have indicated that air […]

Colruyt plants 10 000 hectares of forest in Congo

September 23, 2021

The Belgian retail chain Colruyt Group is going to plant more than 10 000 hectares of forest, good for more than 12 million trees, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Colruyt’s ambition is to capture 120 000 tonnes of CO2 in the newly planted forests by 2030. This way, the amount of captured CO2 […]

T&E denounces ‘dirty tricks’ of the car industry

September 23, 2021

“The European car industry is using aggressive lobbying and making unsubstantiated claims in an attempt to derail EU plans to cut pollution from road transport,” revealed the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) in a briefing paper on Thursday. “Instead of embracing innovation to clean up toxic emissions, the car industry is aggressively lobbying against tougher […]

Health Council reveals link between air pollution and Covid-19

September 22, 2021

Covid-19 and the way countries limit the transfer of the virus have an impact on the environment. But the environment and air pollution in particular also have an impact on the level of infection. That is the conclusion of a new report from the Belgian National Health Council (Hoge GezondsheidsRaad, HGR). Environmental effect studies show […]

SD Worx: ‘One-third fewer cycling commuters in 2021’

September 22, 2021

This year, the number of commuters with a bicycle compensation decreased from 22% to 14% compared to last year (2020) and pre-corona (2019). The decline is most striking among employees who often were forced to work from home. The number of workers increased slightly. The figures were revealed by the largest, Belgian, human resources service […]

Acerta: ‘Minority of employers to offer freedom of teleworking’

September 20, 2021

More than six out of ten companies in Belgium (60,9%) want their employees present on the work floor for at least three days a week. One in ten managers even demands full presence. These are the conclusions of a survey by human resources service provider Acerta together with KU Leuven and specialist HR-journal ZigZagHR. The […]

Car-Free Sunday in 36 towns in Flanders, Wallonia only two

September 17, 2021

Next Sunday, the car is taboo, and pedestrians and cyclists rule the Belgian roads. Car-Free Sunday, which traditionally is part of Mobility Week, is the opportunity to let people get to know sustainable solutions, says organizer Mobiel 21. Remarkable: in Wallonia, only two towns participate, compared to 19 in Brussels and 36 in Flanders. With […]

Mobility Week: sustainable mobility takes center stage

September 14, 2021

From 16 to 22 September, Belgium will host Mobility Week, organized for the 25th time this year. In Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia, various initiatives and numerous actions will be organized to put sustainable mobility in the spotlight. In Brussels, for example, everyone is invited to discover the capital on foot. On Sunday, 19 September, the […]

ALD: ‘More and more Dutch 45+ professionals commute by bike’

September 14, 2021

For the second time in a row, leasing company ALD Automotive organized a survey to analyze bicycle use among Dutch professionals. The conclusion is clear and encouraging: more and more Dutch commuters go to work by bike. Apparently, the corona crisis has accelerated the process. In 2020, 46% of Dutch working people used the bike […]

Most people on Belgian trains and metro since start of pandemic

September 14, 2021

The number of passengers on the trains of the Belgian railway company NMBS/SNCB and the subways of the Brussels transport company MIVB/STIB was at the beginning of September at the highest level since the start of the corona crisis about one and a half years ago. This is the conclusion of a survey carried out […]

Car inspection steps up fight against soot filter fraud

September 06, 2021

From 1 July 2022, a particular counter test (PN measurement) will be used during the annual vehicle inspection for diesel cars. This should detect defective or removed soot filters, says Flemish Minister for Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld). “Since a particulate filter removes 95 to 99 % of particulate emissions, this has a significant impact […]

Indonesia to convert fuel-powered motorbikes to electric

August 20, 2021

On Wednesday, Indonesia launched a pilot project to convert motorbikes with combustion engines into electric-powered vehicles. Ten motorbikes have been converted so far, and 90 more are to follow by November. The project is part of a national initiative to make transport more environmentally friendly and to have 13 million electric motorbikes on the roads […]

Ghent will not expand LEZ but launches ‘air quality fund’

August 19, 2021

There will be no geographical expansion of the low-emission zone (LEZ) in Ghent after all. The bench of Alderman will take that decision on Thursday. Groen, the largest party in Ghent, has long been asking for the current LEZ in the inner city to be extended to the wider area. But a study has shown […]

EEB: ‘EU governments fail to curb emissions from toxic plants’

August 17, 2021

Today is the deadline for EU members to comply with the EU pollution limits for large combustion plants, but most lignite plants in the EU have waited until the very last minute to implement pollution-control technologies. The result is four years of unnecessary pollution and a massive bill on people’s health, the EEB (European Environmental […]