Banning all diesel vehicles in Brussels would be "unnecessary and irresponsible" the Belgian Petroleum Federation said on Monday, denouncing recent calls for regional leaders to implement such a ban over the new term as being at odds with the "scientific reality."
The federation argued that with new generation diesel vehicles built to fall in line with European Union (EU) standards, diesel vehicle emissions would fall "sharply" in the coming years.
"The latest generation of diesel cars more than meet the emission limit values," federation representative Jean-Benoît Schans told Bruzz. "A general diesel ban is therefore unnecessary and irresponsible."
"Policymakers should not rely on emotional arguments and be aware of scientific reality," the statement reportedly reads, adding that modern diesel vehicles "have a place on our roads and in the low emissions zone," since they respect the air quality standards.
The federation's statement comes after three environmental groups called on the new leaders of the Brussels-Capital Region to include provisions for the ban in the government agreement currently in the works.
While tests on the most recent models of diesel vehicles indicate that they comply with EU norms on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, Frans Fierens of the Interregional Environmental Cell told Bruzz that the tests did not take into account driving in adverse weather conditions, such as freezing weather, when emissions tend to be higher.
Fierens also pointed out that car makers should have met the standards they are basing their current arguments on from 2014.
Environmental group Transport & Environnement said that the new diesel vehicles did not address the problem of CO2 emissions, adding that in order to avert a "climate catastrophe" cities needed to take the lead in matters relating to air quality.
The Brussels Times