Share article:
Share article:

Emissions from new vehicles are back to 2014 levels

Carbon dioxide emissions in Belgium rose in 2019 for the second year in a row. Credit: © Belga

Carbon dioxide emissions from newly sold cars rose last year for the second year running in Belgium, dragging the CO2 emissions of the automotive sector in the country back to 2014 levels.

In 2019, new cars belched out, on average, 121.2 grams of CO2 per kilometre into the air, up from averages of 119.2 grams in 2018 and of 115.8 grams the year prior, BX1 reports.

One of the main reasons behind the emissions hike is the roll-out in 2017 of a new emissions-measuring standard, meant to improve measuring by better matching laboratory emissions estimates with real driving emissions.

Under the new WLTP protocol, developed by a United Nations economic commission, the registered CO2 emissions from new cars have risen on average by 5 to 10 grams, De Tijd reports.

Additionally, changes in the preferences of drivers in Belgium can also explain the hike, with the Dutch-speaking outlet reporting that a “massive” swap from diesel to petrol-powered cars also played a main role in driving emissions forward.

While petrol cars emit less nitrogen oxide, a harmful air pollutant, some estimates say their CO2 emissions rate is higher than that of diesel-powered vehicles, which are also more expensive to make.

While De Tijd reports that, in 2016, more than half of newly acquired vehicles ran on diesel, last year that number dropped to around 31%.

Additionally, the hike in emissions coming from Belgian roads can also be explained by the rising popularity of SUVs among drivers, with SUVs making up 39% of new cars acquired in Belgium last year.

New regulations coming into force in 2020 will include electric and hybrid cars in CO2 emissions measurements, a change which representatives in the clean transport sector say could push automakers to work harder to attain emissions targets.

“Since 1 January, car builders have to meet the European CO2 targets,” Julia Poliscanova of umbrella transport association Transport & Environnement told De Tijd, “Until now, they had no incentive to sell electric cars, so they continued to advertise polluting SUVs, which generate more profit.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...