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    Ministers exchange words on 2030 diesel-ban target

    (c) Belga
    (c) Belga

    There is no reason for plans by Brussels to ban diesel vehicles by 2030 to fail, especially when other European and world cities are in the process of doing so, Brussels Environment Minister Céline Frémault said on Sunday in response to a statement from her cabinet colleague, Didier Gosuin. Economy and Labour Minister Gosuin, who is from the DéFI party, had said earlier Sunday that the decision in principle to ban diesel vehicles by 2030 cannot be a mere announcement that ends up resulting in a series of exemptions. The study which the region’s Government has pledged to do must be conducted very seriously, Gosuin added, listing many situations in the public and private sectors which show that, as things stand, a general ban would be difficult to apply in the short term.

    “Citizens must not be taken for fools, otherwise we’ll remain at the stage of a statement of principle,” said Gosuin, who was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of DéFI’s campaign for the Brussels municipal elections. “Such a goal requires serious study and in-depth work done transparently.”

    Reacting to his remarks, the Environment Minister, who is from the Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) party, commented: “This decision is by far one that respects the health of Brussels residents the most. We have twelve years to prepare the groundwork. Why would Brussels fail where other European cities have launched the same process and where other world cities have already succeeded?

    “It’s our responsibility to establish a framework and determine a method, taking into consideration all the specific characteristics of Brussels, as the government decided on Thursday. I’m beginning long-term work indispensable to the quality of life of today’s Brussels residents and tomorrow’s. It’s my responsibility not to make Brussels a city and a region that stagnate. Brussels’ residents deserve ambition,” Debaets said.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times