Speed limit on Brussels orbital to be reduced to 100 km/h

The Flemish Government has unveiled its Climate Plan. The plan that should have been made public and the end of last week, contains a number of measures that it is hopes will serve to reduced carbon emissions in our region. The plan was announced by the Flemish Energy and Climate Minister Zuhal Demir (nationalist) at a press conference held on Monday morning. Ms Demir described the plan as being “ambitious, attainable and affordable”.  

One of the measures contained in the plan is the reduction of the maximum speed limit on the Brussels orbital motorway (the lion’s share of which in in Flemish Brabant) from 120 km/h to 100 km/h.

The measure is forecast to reduce carbon emissions by some 0.13 megatons. Levels of particulate matter in the air are dependent on a number of factors, not least the weather. Nevertheless, it is expected that measure will see levels of particulate matter fall by around 30% in the immediate area around the orbital motorway.     

The Flemish Government says that the measure to reduce the speed limit on the Brussels orbital motorway will have positive implications for air quality both in Flanders and in the Brussels Capital Region.  

The Brussels Regional Transport Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Flemish green) has responded positively to the Flemish Government’s proposals. Writing on Twitter, Ms Van den Brandt said that reducing the speed limit is “Good for the climate, traffic flow and road safety”.        

In addition to the planned speed limit reduction the Climate Plan has modified down earlier proposals for an across the board reduction in carbon emissions of 35% by 2030.  The Flemish Government hopes to get as near as possible to this earlier target. The Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist) assured those at the press conference that the Flemish Government’s abandonment of its previous targets is only temporary.  

The plan also outlines measures to reduce carbon emissions from agricultures by 25% by 2030. Although the Flemish Government has no plans to oblige residential real estate owners to carry out renovation work to make their properties more energy efficient it does intend to tempt them with interest free renovation loans. 

Another one of the 350 measures contained in the plan is the promise to plant 10,000 hectares of woodland.    

Flemish Climate Plan less ambitious than the EU's

The Flemish Climate Plan is less ambitious that the goals set by the European Commission. The EU wants to reduce carbon emissions by 35% by 2030. While, Wallonia aims to have reduced its carbon emissions by 55% and Brussels by 40% by 2030, Flanders’ climate goals are more modest.

The Flemish Government has set a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 32.8% before the end of the 2020’s.