Flanders falling short of target to cut CO2 emissions by 2020

Flanders falling short of target to cut CO2 emissions by 2020

Flanders is unlikely to reach its EU-wide CO2-emission reduction target for 2020, the new Flemish minister of the environment (and energy) Zuhal Demir (N-VA) insisted on Wednesday in the columns of Morgen.

A few months away from the deadline, it is hard to imagine any radical change in the direction the region is taking with regard to this matter that is leading Flanders towards a reduction of about 10% at most of its CO2 emissions in comparison to 2005, whereas the target set is -15.7%.

The target as regards renewable energy is also likely to be missed, the newspaper noted, remarking that the new agreement made by the Flemish government is strangely mute on the subject of climate targets set by the EU.

Looking ahead to 2030, the Jambon government intends to attempt to hit the target, but the job already appears very tough given the lack of the decisive policies proposed by the N-VA - CD&V - Open Vld trio concerning energy and climate plans: the mileage taxation proposal was dropped, along with compulsory renovation following a home purchase.

It is indeed on this kind of measure that the provisional Flemish climate plan rested. This has already proven in itself to be insufficient in terms of meeting EU objectives for 2030. Zuhal Demir must give her final version of a regional climate plan proposal by the end of October.

The only short-term solution for Flanders will be to buy CO2 "credits" from the leaders in terms of emission reductions, who already look like exceeding their targets. This will likely be the case with Wallonia, over whom Flanders has priority for the purchase of credits. A rough estimate made by the Bourgeois government is reliant on a bill of some 40 million euro for Flanders to make up for its 2020 delay using such credits.

The Bond Beter Leefmilieu, having its say in the newspaper, is, in any case, furious: "the previous government, in the person of minister Schauvliege, has maintained for years that Flanders would meet its climate objectives for 2020. Minister Demir, from the new government that includes the same parties, has after several days cheerfully announced that this will doubtless not be the case in the end," Mathias Bienstman lashed out.

The Brussels Times

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