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The European environment – state and outlook 2010

The European environment – state and outlook 2010

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Air pollution - Policy responses (SOER 2010)

Ozone and or air quality action plans at the Belgian Federal level.

Key message

Ozone and or air quality action plans have been adopted during the last ten years at both the federal and regional level in order to reduce, through a comprehensive set of measures, the level of concentrations of various air pollutants, in particular ozone, particulate matters and NOx.

Federal level

  • A Royal Decree on boilers was adopted in July 2009 in order to limit emissions of NOX and particulate matters emissions and a Royal Decree on pellet-fired boilers is under preparation.

  • The Euro 5 standard has been introduced for private vehicles.

  • For company vehicles, with effect from the fiscal year 2007, a tax deduction of EUR150 (not indexed) is available for the purchase of new diesel vehicles equipped with a particle filter and with CO2 emissions not higher than 130 grams per km and those with particulate matters (soot) of maximum 0.005 g/km. For the calendar year 2009, a reduction of EUR210 (indexed net amount) is available by direct deduction from the purchase invoice.

 

Ozone and or air quality action plans in the Flemish region

Key message

Ozone and or air quality action plans have been adopted during the last ten years at the federal level and in the regions in order to reduce, through a comprehensive set of measures, the level of concentrations of various air pollutants, in particular for ozone, particulate matters and NOx.

Flemish region

  • Since February 2009, the Flemish Government has paid a bonus for the installation of a soot filter on diesel-powered vehicles with environmental class Euro 3 standard. 80 % of the total costs (costs of the soot filter, but also the costs for its installation and any additional costs), up to EUR400, will be refunded.

  • An environmental grant scheme has been in force for particle filters for lorries and for the purchase of Euro 5 lorries since July 2006. A decree grants subsidies for the retrofit of passenger cars with particle filters. Another form of financial support is the planned reform of the road tax, both the registration tax and the annual road tax. For passenger cars, the reform can be based on the ecoscore of the vehicle. The ecoscore reflects a car’s overall impact on the environment and takes the polluting emissions (PM, NOx, CO, HC), CO2 and sound into account. The registration tax for new vehicles will be adopted to encourage the fitting of vehicles with particle filter.

  • A measure consisting in reducing vehicle speed from 120 to 90 km/h on the highways crossing sensitive zones during peaks in air pollution has been adopted.

 

Ozone and or air quality action plans in the Walloon region.

Key message
Ozone and or air quality action plans have been adopted during the last ten years at the federal level and in the regions in order to reduce, through a comprehensive set of measures, the level of concentrations of various air pollutants, in particular for ozone, particulate matters and NOx.

Walloon Region

  • A similar measure consisting in reducing vehicle speed from 120 to 90 km/h on the highways crossing sensitive zones during peaks in air pollution has also been adopted in the Walloon Region.

  • The monitoring network on air quality should be completed and new mobile monitoring stations should be added.

  • A periodical evaluation of insulation standards is foreseen for residential buildings and measures should be adopted in order to promote the replacement of coal boilers by more eco-efficient warming systems.

  • A more appropriate system should be defined in order to fight wild incineration of waste.

 

Ozone and air quality action plans in the Brussels-Capital Region

Key message

Ozone and or air quality action plans have been adopted during the last ten years at the federal level and in the regions in order to reduce, through a comprehensive set of measures, the level of concentrations of various air pollutants, in particular for ozone, particulate matters and NOx. 

Brussels-Capital Region

  • Like in the two other regions, an ’Emergency plan in the event of peaks of pollution‘ has been implemented. It includes three levels of intervention according to the increasing concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere: speed limit, system of alternated plates and total interdiction of circulation.

  • A grant called ’Prime Bruxell'air’ is provided to car owners who decide to shift toward environmentally friendly modes of transport and give back their number plates. This measure also promotes the destruction of high pollution vehicles because an additional grant is given for the destruction of these vehicles.

  • In the Brussels Capital region, the establishment of a plan of displacements is obligatory for the companies that employ more than 200 workers on the same site. The plan is set up in two phases: development of a diagnosis of mobility, followed by the development of a concrete action plan. 260 diagnoses of mobility had been carried out in 2008. Those include a total of 220 000 workers that represent a third of all employment in the Brussels region. With regard to the mode of the principal displacement, on average 47 % of these workers use the car to go to work (45 % as driver and 2 % as passenger), 32 % the train and 15 % the bus, tram or subway. The share of walking is little more than 3 % and that of cycling less than 2 %.
  • Many measures aiming at reducing the emissions coming from the residential and tertiary buildings have also been taken (see part "Climate change mitigation")