Thursday, 25 December 2008

Being announced since spring, last week the federal government finally launched its new website on climate change. (Mind there's no English version for all links given in this post)

The website starts with a small explanation for the bigger audience what climate change is (i would've loved to see it being more expanded) and what the impacts could be.

More interesting is the second part, which adresses the Belgian climate policy (framed in the International conventions, and standing above the regional policy) and points to all raports presented by and actions taken by the goverment. An essential section for scientists and policymakers, but probably not immediately a cup of tea for the bigger crowd, as i suppose civilians probably will be more interested in what this policy means for them individually.

The final section of the website looks at the financial translation of a number of actions the government defined : in Belgium civilians can get tax-reductions in case of buying a new (clean) car or improving the energy-efficiency of their houses.

For cars, since july 2007, a tax-reduction is given when :

  • Stoot uw wagen minder dan 105 g CO2/km uit, dan krijgt u een korting van 15% op de aankoopprijs inclusief BTW, met een niet-geïndexeerd maximum van 3.280 euro (2008: 4.350 euro geïndexeerd).
  • Stoot uw wagen 105 g/km tot 115 g CO2/km uit, dan krijgt u een korting van 3 % op de aankoopprijs inclusief BTW, met een niet-geïndexeerd maximum van 615 euro (2008: 810 euro geïndexeerd).
  • Een korting van 150 euro niet-geïndexeerd (2008: 200 euro geïndexeerd) wordt toegekend bij de aankoop van een nieuwe wagen met een dieselmotor die een roetfilter heeft die maximum 5 mg deeltjes en 130 g CO2/km uitstoot.
in English (my translation):
  • emission below 105 g CO2 gives you a 15% discount on the total (VAT inclusive) price of the car. With a maximum of 3.280€ (+/- 4500 US$) and this sum is indexed
  • between 105 & 115 g CO2 still gives tou a 3% discount.
  • 150 € discount (indexed) when buying a car on diesel with maximum emission of 130 g CO² AND a maximum emission fo 5 mg fine dust (with levels much higher than allowed by legislations, 'fine dust' is a major enviromental problem in Belgium, and an ever growing concern for it's becoming clearer there's a huge risk of lungcancer associated with it)

The website with a closer look at Belgian eco-policy on cars can be found here. You can have a closer look at how your own car is performing here. Or you can immediately have a look at the page with all available car models on the Belgian market and how they perform (website or pdf-brochure)

The rules for getting a tax-reduction by taking action to increase the energy-efficiency of houses is a little more complicated. There's a good pdf-brochure though.

summarized, these things give you a discount :
  • installing an energy friendly type of boiler/furnace
  • placing a geothermal heatpump
  • installing double glazing
  • placing new isolation on the roof
  • installing a thermostate with a timer
  • doing an energy-audit
  • installing photovoltaïc module
  • installing a solar thermal collector
All in all, the Belgian government does do some actions to encourage the public to do their share of the job.
And the website does prove to be a good starting point for who does want to do so.

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