July 16, 2024 | 2:28


Bilbao designs low emissions zone: Almost 50% of vehicles will be inadmissible

Nearly 50% of existing vehicles would not meet the requirements to travel in the future Bilbao Low Emissions Zone

Jeickson Sulbaran

September 19, 2023 | 2:00 p.m.

A Sustainable Future

Bilbao, a reference city in the ecological transition, is preparing to take the next step towards sustainability. Nora Abete, deputy mayor and councilor for the Mobility and Sustainability Area, has confirmed that a Low Emission Zone (ZBE) for the city. However, almost half of current vehicles will not comply with new regulations.

ZBEs, More Than a Trend

Within the framework of the European Mobility Week, Abete highlighted that ZBEs are not just a trend, but a legal obligation. Spain's Climate Change and Energy Transition Law obliges cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to implement these zones. The objective is clear: improve the quality of life of citizens by reduce polluting emissions and mitigate climate change.

Vehicles in the Spotlight

Vehicles labeled B and those without a label will make up almost half of the cars that circulate in Bilbao today. These will be the most affected by the new regulations. Abete pointed out that "it seems reasonable that we act with the vehicles that pollute the most."

Complementary Measures

The ZBE will not be an isolated measure. Abete emphasized that implementation must be accompanied by a series of complementary measures. These include the promotion of electric vehicles, the pedestrianization of spaces and the renaturalization of urban areas. In addition, changes will be promoted in home boilers to abandon fossil fuels.

27 Cameras for Surveillance

To enforce the new regulations, 27 cameras will be installed in the city center. These will be crucial to control the access of the most polluting vehicles.

Challenges and Solutions

But the path to sustainability is not without obstacles. One of the most common criticisms is the potential economic impact on owners of older vehicles. However, Abete argued that the objective is not to restrict circulation, but rather promote a shift towards more sustainable options.

A Necessary Change

Ultimately, Low Emission Zones are becoming an essential resource for confront climate change and improve air quality in our cities. Although the challenges are numerous, adaptation to more sustainable mobility is, increasingly, an unavoidable reality.

With the well-defined action plan and a comprehensive approach, Bilbao is at the forefront of sustainable mobility in Spain. By facing the challenges of the ecological transition, the city is preparing for a greener and healthier future for all its inhabitants.

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