Which is the purpose of the LEZ environmental zones?

The introduction of the LEZ environmental zones serves, above all, to reduce the soot and particular matter content in the cities and, subsequently, also the nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Soot, particulate matter and NOx are mainly produced by older diesel vehicles. Therefore, these vehicles are also more affected by these restrictions.

After a feasibility study of the city of Antwerp, for example, the hazardous particulate matter in the immediate vicinity should drop by approx. 41% after excluding older cars from the city. The soot content should even drop by 69%. This is a measure which, above all, improves the health condition of children, elderly and sick people.

The national government is obviously aware that also heated buildings, the industry and shipping companies are responsible for the production of particulate matter and NOx. For this reason, a plan of action with various measures, especially for shipping traffic in ports, was also adopted.