Brussels, Belgium switches to car use tax

In Belgium, the government of the Brussels’ region is setting up the SmartMove plan establishing a kilometric tax. Among with economic, environmental and health benefits, the project aims at reducing the number of cars in the city which is the 2nd largest source of GHG emissions and cause thousands of death each year. Regional entities are responsible for road taxes in Belgium.  Currently car owners must pay a first tax at the car purchase (the tax on entry into service) and also a forfeit road tax (the road fund tax) to be allowed to drive. The SmartMove plan would ...

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Victory for Bucharest residents as Romanian court annuls the capital’s inadequate Air Quality Plan

A court in Bucharest has annulled the city authorities’ Air Quality Plan, marking an important win in the fight for clean air in Romania’s capital. Although the exact reasoning of the court’s ruling has yet to be published, the decision of Bucharest County Court means that city authorities must now prepare a new air quality plan. Three Romanian NGOs - Centre for Sustainable Policies “Ecopolis”,  OPTAR and 2Celsius – and individuals including lawyer Marius Petroiu launched their claims against the Bucharest Municipality in 2019. They challenged ...

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Coronavirus threat greater in polluted cities. Conditions caused by dirty air likely to cut survival chances

Those living in polluted cities are more at risk from Covid-19, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) warned today. Air pollution can cause hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, conditions that doctors are starting to link to higher mortality rates for Covid-19. A 2003 study on victims of the coronavirus SARS found that patients in regions with moderate air pollution levels were 84% more likely to die than those in regions with low air pollution. The European Respiratory Society (ERS) is an EPHA member. Dr Sara De Matteis, Associate Professor in ...

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