Belgium joins Dutch call for gradual end to fossil fuel subsidies

Belgium joins Dutch call for gradual end to fossil fuel subsidies
Credit: Belga

The COP28 climate summit in Dubai could reach an agreement on phasing out fossil fuels after the Netherlands initiated a global coalition to end subsidies.

A dozen countries have joined the Dutch call, including Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Spain, Finland, and Canada. The Dutch initiative follows the decision made at the COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, where nearly 200 countries agreed to progressively eliminate "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies.

To increase transparency, the Dutch proposal suggests that signatory countries publish their fossil fuel subsidies ahead of COP29, scheduled for November 2024. In Belgium, such inventory is already being conducted by federal authorities, according to the federal Climate Minister, Zakia Khattabi’s office.

In 2020, the subsidy amount for fossil fuels in Belgium was estimated at nearly 13 billion euros. This includes almost 11 billion euros of direct subsidies, mostly in the form of tax exemptions or reduced rates of excise or VAT, and around two billion euros in indirect subsidies, primarily via the tax scheme for company cars and VAT exemption on flight tickets.

However, MR Vice Prime Minister David Clarinval has voiced his opposition to ending Federal Government support for fossil fuels.

The French-speaking liberal stated on social media that ending this support would mean stopping the social tariff for hundreds of thousands of Belgians, scrapping company cars (including electric ones), the significant net wage they represent, and discontinuing professional diesel for thousands of job creators.

Related News

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.