The Brussels regional government has reached an agreement in principle to ban diesel cars from the city from 2030, environment minister Céline Fremault announced. But minister-president Rudi Vervoort was less enthusiastic: the ban is “not yet worked out,” he said.
The city has already introduced a low-emissions zone, from which the most polluting vehicles are banned. The diesel ban was agreed by the regions council of ministers, and Fremault is said now to be looking into whether a similar measure could be brought into force for petrol-driven cars.
However opponents have implied the announcement is early electioneering, while no suggestion has been offered as to how the number of diesel vehicles might be reduced in practice. Without practical alternatives, they told Le Soir, the announcement of a ban makes no sense.
The procedure to make such a ban a reality will now require studies, as well as discussions with the various parties involved, among them motoring and environmental organisations, and the car industry. Critics also point to the low emissions zone, which is still in a teething phase, where many of the necessary checks are still not in place.
The region’s mobility minister, Pascal Smet, however, welcomed the agreement in principle. A ban on diesel vehicles would, he said, be “part of the solution” to the city’s mobility problems.