Greens want to raise Belgium’s climate objectives in the absence of N-VA

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 17:19
Greens want to raise Belgium’s climate objectives in the absence of N-VA © Belga
The ecologists have tabled a draft resolution to “reposition” Belgium’s climate objectives, calling on Prime Minister Charles Michel and their colleagues in parliament to take advantage of the “moment without the N-VA”.
Michel was scheduled to meet the heads of the Ecolo-Groen partnership in parliament on Tuesday afternoon. The Greens explained at a press conference that they did not intend to join in the political game. “We do not know what the prime minister will say, but we know what we will tell him,” Ecolo’s co-president, Jean-Marc Nollet, stressed.

The resolution calls on the federal government to place Belgium in the group of the eight European countries with the most ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in which case it would have to advocate for a 55% reduction by 2030 in Europe and a 95% reduction by 2050. “A coalition in favour of climate is needed in Parliament,” group leader Georges Gilkinet said.

"Charles Michel no longer has an excuse today,” Nollet commented. “For four years he hid behind the N-VA [New Flemish Alliance] saying that he could not take as ambitious a position as he wanted.”

The Ecolo-Groen partners warn that the resolution is not a negotiating position. However, they said nothing about follow-up action, for example, a possible vote of confidence or even the prospect of early elections.

“Who are we to decide that?” the co-president commented. “There is no need to add chaos to chaos. The country needs decision. Today, the ball is in parliament’s court. The government is in the minority. It’s a test for the prime minister but also a hand extended to our colleagues.”

The ecologists would like the resolution to be approved before the 24th Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Climate Change ends in Katowice, Poland on Friday.

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times
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