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    Belgium still far from meeting 2020 climate targets

    © Belga
    Belgium’s share of renewable energy sources is still alarmingly low at 8.7%, compared to its 13% 2020 target.
    © Belga

    Belgium still has a significant way to go to meet the climate targets, drawn up as part of the Europe 2020 strategy. The findings came in a report released on Tuesday by the European Office for Statistics, known as Eurostat.

    In 2010, the European Union concluded a ten-year strategy, with various objectives in terms of employment, innovation, climate policy, education and reducing poverty. The report published on Tuesday flags up to what extent European countries are on the right track to reach these targets.

    The report illustrates that Belgium’s climate and energy policy is currently losing its way in this regard. The most recent figures (2016), show that greenhouse gas emissions have only decreased by 7.2% in Belgium, when compared to the reference year, 1990. Eurostat consequently emphasises that Belgium is still far from the national target of a 15% reduction in these gas emissions by 2020.

    Likewise, the share of renewable energy sources is not close to the anticipated 13% target for 2020. Although this share has more than doubled between 2008 and 2016, it remains unable to move, currently at 8.7%. In terms of energy efficiency, the report further notes that virtually no progress has been made.

    The reduction in poverty is another negative aspect in the report. The proportion of people risking poverty or social exclusion actually increased by 4.6% between 2008 and 2017.

    However, as regards education, Belgium is reaping good results. The percentage of youngsters constituting early leavers from education and training, at 8.9%, is already below the target of 9.5%. Furthermore, the percentage of people in the 30 to 34 age bracket that have ended their educational career in higher education is 45.9%, a figure which is very close to the 47% target.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times