Court action for clean air in Brussels
ClientEarth, along with five Brussels citizens, are pursuing legal action against the Brussels
regional government for failure to deliver an adequate Air Quality Plan (AQP) and to adequately measure and monitor concentrations of pollutants in the city.
The levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Brussels have breached legal limits since 2010. The regional Plan “Air-Climat-Energie” was only adopted by the Brussels government in June 2016.
This is a programmatic document setting the general framework for actions on air quality,
climate change and energy issues. However, the plan is woefully inadequate as it fails to reduce illegal levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”, which is required by the law. It proposes the introduction of a low emissions zone (LEZ) from January 2018.This is a step in the right direction, but it is too little, too late. As of next year, only the oldest vehicles (Euro 0 and Euro 1) will be banned from circulating within the capital. Only 9% of cars in Brussels are Euro 0 and Euro 1, so this decision is unlikely to have any tangible effect on air quality.
ClientEarth is asking the court to oblige the Brussels authorities to develop and implement an appropriate air quality plan to tackle the dangerous level of air pollution in the region and bring it within legal limits.