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    Belgian climate plan: government asks citizens to comment

    Credit: Belga

    On Tuesday, 4 June a public online consultation on the National Energy Climate Plan (PNEC) will be launched by the “caretaker” government, the cabinet of Federal Minister of Energy Marie Christine Marghem confirmed on Wednesday.

    The questionnaire will give citizens the opportunity to comment on the PNEC commitments made by Belgium’s various authorities. The questions will be published on the FPS Economy (Federal public service) website, Directorate General for energy and will remain online for six weeks, the cabinet said.

    The questions are not yet known. De Morgen evoked on Wednesday a series of fifteen questions, such as “do you want more offshore wind turbines?” Or “how can you reduce your energy consumption?”. In parallel to these questions, comments can be added.

    The consultation follows a request from the European Commission, which asked all Member States to question their population on their country’s climate plan. Belgium had therefore indicated in the PNEC that a public consultation would be held “in the first quarter of 2019”. The slight delay is partly due to the coordination of Belgium’s levels of power (Federal State and three Regions).

    Citizens will be informed of this consultation via the Internet, Twitter and the media, among others, Marghem’s cabinet ensured.

    According to WWF spokesperson Julie Vandenberghe, quoted in De Morgen, “it is clear that the government prefers that as few people as possible address this climate plan.” “Europe expects broad public consultation, but what do we get? A simple questionnaire to be published on a website during the summer, with no publicity,” she said.

    The final text of the Climate Energy National Plan must be submitted to the European Commission by the end of 2019. Based on the national plans, the Commission will then assess and monitor progress towards achieving 2030 climate and energy goals, recommending when deemed necessary additional measures to be adopted.

    The Brussels Times