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Brussels launches climate action plan: diesel cars banned from 2030

Christophe Licoppe

Brussels launches climate action plan: diesel cars banned from 2030

The Brussels government has officially adopted its Air, Climate and Energy Plan. The climate action plan aims to make Brussels carbon neutral by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 47 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, and fight energy poverty.

From the end of 2025, all building owners will be required to draw up a renovation plan to achieve at least EPB class C.  EPB refers to a building’s energy performance and its indoor climate.  Class C requires a level of 100 kWh per square metre per year, by 2050. Public bodies must achieve this class as early as 2040.

The plan develops several formulas providing guidance and financial support in the form of grants and interest-free loans to make it possible for owners to meet the regional targets. For example, the so-called "Renolution" grants for people on low-income cover half of energy investments needed to meet the regional target and allow property owners to take out a low-interest loan.

This third version of the climate action plan comes after a public consultation, which resulted in more than 3,000 suggestions from citizens and dozens of recommendations from organisations, associations and advisory bodies, leading to some adjustments.

A Housing Fund will facilitate access to energy renovation for all target groups. Renewable energy production ambitions are increased by 20 per cent compared to the last version dating from December 2022 and the timetable for phasing out fossil fuels has been adjusted. The measures contained in the plan should lead to 47 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the plan also aims to prepare the Brussels region for the effects of climate change. Better soil permeability, integrated stormwater management, more vegetation and more cooling zones to combat heat islands are also among the objectives.

Minister for climate transition, environment and energy Alain Maron (Francophone green) coordinated the plan, but all ministers and all authorities will do their bit to make the climate action plan a reality.

"This plan means the Brussels government is putting climate at the heart of its urban project. As has been the case since the beginning of this parliament, every minister and all authorities are area contributing towards the high climate ambitions set by the government and will continue to do so”.

Brussels’ ambitions are in line with Belgium’s international commitments. Municipalities, industry, civil society, businesses, and other organisations will all play their part. The government intends to support all those committed to improving the quality of life in Brussels by 2030 Maron says.

Under the plans all vehicles with diesel-fuelled combustion engines are banned from the Brussels region starting 2030. Five years later it’s the turn of petrol engines.

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