Brussels’ new leaders must ban all fossil fuel vehicles, environmental groups say
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    Brussels’ new leaders must ban all fossil fuel vehicles, environmental groups say

    Environmental groups urged the incoming Brussels government to implement a ban on all fossil fuel vehicles. Credit: © Belga

    Brussels must ban all fossil fuel vehicles from the city if the new government wants to ensure the capital city leads a pioneering role in sustainable mobility, according to a letter sent by environmental organisations to the region’s incoming leaders on Wednesday.

    If Brussels’ leaders want a “healthier city” and to prove that they take “climate action seriously,” they must include “concrete measures” in the incoming government agreement, the letter read, according to Bruzz.

    Jointly signed by Greenpeace, Bond Beter Leefmilieu and Transport & Environment, the letter acknowledged the city’s low emission zone (LEZ) was a “step in the right direction,” but called for more ambitious measures to be implemented, as the LEZ only banned certain fossil fuel vehicles.

    “To be really effective, all diesel and gasoline cars must be banned from Brussels,” Greenpeace spokesperson Joeri Thijs said.

    “Brussels is at a key moment,” Thijs added. “If the capital of the European Union wants to play a pioneering role in the fields of sustainable mobility, ambitious measures must be included in the coalition agreement.”

    The letter, submitted to party representatives currently thrashing out a majority agreement for the future government of the Brussels-Capital Region, comes after the negotiation parties agreed to a mobility deal on Tuesday.

    Other measures included in the organisation’s letter include improving public transport in the city and pursuing an ambitious plan to develop cycling in the Belgian capital.

    Citing the examples of cities like Madrid or Paris, who they said will gradually phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2030 at the latest, the environmental groups urged Brussels’ regional leaders to live up to a 1990 ambition of reducing the number of vehicles in the city by 20%.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times