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Published On: Mon, Sep 11th, 2017

Greenpeace sends Belgian ministers notice of default over air pollution

nsnbc : The environmental NGO Greenpeace has sent a notice of default about air quality to the Flemish and Walloon Environment Ministers Joke Schauvliege (Christian democrat) and Carlo Di Antonio (Christian democrat).

Belgium_air qualityGreenpeace accuses both ministers of lacking vigor in their enforcement of air quality rules and of having presided over a system of inadequate measuring of levels of pollutants in the air.

If the two Ministers fail to give a satisfactory answer to the issues raised in Greenpeace’s letter and notice of default, the environmental organisation will take both Ministers to court.

Flemish Environment Minister Joke Schauvliege dismisses the criticism tabled by Greenpeace. However, Joeri Thijs of Greenpeace Belgium’s Clean Air Campaign told journalists that “These governments are willfully negligent by not sufficiently protecting their citizens against the serious impact that polluted air has on our health”. “Especially with regard to emissions, diesel-related nitrogen dioxide emissions our country continues to score very poorly. This is why we have sent the notice of default.”

Flemish Environment Minister Joke Schauvliege countered Greenpeace’s criticism. Speaking to the presss he said “I don’t agree that we are not doing enough”. Ms Schauvliege added that the Flemish Government had taken measures to make the criteria on which motor vehicles are taxed greener and introduced low emission zones. “”The move away from diesel is under way. To say that you can’t see any results is incorrect,” she said.

The Flemish Environment Minister also maintains that Flanders is compliant with EU guidelines, although there are still a few areas that require attention such as Hoboken and Antwerp. Ms Schauvliege says that plans have been drawn up to address the issues there.

F/AK – nsnbc 11.09.2017

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