Brussels ministers give green light to draft version of National Energy Climate Plan

Friday, 14 December 2018 13:13
Céline Fremault is clear that individuals and organizations should take action to reduce the impact of climate change. Céline Fremault is clear that individuals and organizations should take action to reduce the impact of climate change. © Belga
The Brussels government, on Thursday, approved the draft version of the “National Energy Climate Plan – 2030”.
The document contains a compilation of regional climate plans, approved over the course of the summer, and the federal government’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and energy efficiency.

The Brussels Minister for the Environment, Céline Fremault (of the Francophone Christian Democrats), says that the plan enables Brussels to have an ambitious trajectory for the reduction of direct and indirect greenhouse gases, by respectively 2030 and 2050.

The Brussels government acknowledges as legitimate the recommendations contained in the 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, relative to the urgent necessity to increase the objectives to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030 and 2050, for compliance with the Paris agreement and to ensure that Belgium’s contribution comes to fruition.

Céline Fremault commented, “The irrevocable report reminds us of our responsibility, both individual and public. Climate should be the primary priority at all levels of power, from the most local to the most global.”

The main objective of the “National Energy Climate Plan – 2030” enables Belgium to participate in the European objective by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030. The version of the NECP, approved by the Brussels government, will be sent to the European Commission by the end of the year, to enable it to provide its recommendations during the first six months of 2019.

The Brussels region will append in the form of an annex to the NECP its regional plan, as well as its strategy for the revisions. Following national consultation as regards the first version of the plan scheduled for next year, and the recommendations of the Commission, a final plan will be sent to the European Commission before 31 December 2019.

In the context of the recent March on Climate, the Brussels Minister for the Environment added that the regional government had decided to support the further European climate target increase, going from a 40% to 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

She said, “Action upon climate is no longer a choice but an obligation. However it is also an opportunity.”

The Minister-President, Rudi Vervoort, says that it is equally important to create, from 2019, a Brussels task force responsible for making concrete proposals for transversal actions and initiatives (examples being urban renovation, mobility, tax and others) to enable the Brussels-Capital region to sign up to this increase in efforts to reduce climate change.

One of the missions of this task force will be to work upon improving Belgian climatic governance by studying, as the minister Didier Gosuin wishes, the implementation of potential law scheduled around climate. The plan involves implementing a new cooperation agreement, by which each of the federal and regional entities will follow new ambitious objectives, taking account of their individual capacities and characteristics.

This climatic governance may involve the creation of an inter-federal climate agency, as currently demanded by the Minister, Céline Fremault.

Lars Andersen
The Brussels Times
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