Share article:
Share article:

‘Technically’ Belgium can be climate neutral by 2050

Credit: Pxhere

Belgium can meet the climate goals by 2050, according to VUB professors Willy Baeyens and Hubert Rahier, but everyone will have to do their part.

“Technically, we can meet the climate goals for 2050, with the right climate plan,” they said, spelling out six pillars that are essential for a sustainable climate policy and adding that “clear information about the energy transition should be accessible for anybody.”

Besides “a strong need for an ambitious transition plan of the government,” the researchers point out that “citizens, energy producers, and other companies should actively opt for green energy in order for Belgium to reach its goals. “Realising climate neutrality by 2050 is a shared process.”

The first pillar is to transition to a green energy production and to discourage the use of polluting energy. “But there is a big problem! The sun doesn’t always shine when we need lots of energy,” conversely, the wind can produce excess energy when we don’t need it as much, so we have to be able to convert and store surpluses of green electricity, which is the researchers’ second pillar.

By focusing on storage, “our knowledge will improve. The knowledge we need so badly to realise the transition to green and sustainable energy,” the researchers said.

The third pillar is to exchange green energy with other countries by strengthening electricity transport cables that lead abroad, using existing and new pipelines to transport green fuels and to exchange based on day or night, summer or winter. “This way, we can meet supply and demand.”

Fourth, energy consumption must be reduced. Buildings must be made energy neutral “and even energy positive,” public transport must become more modern and competitive, and cycling must be made attractive.

Related to this, the researchers plead for a switch to electric transport, gradually forbidding the sale of petrol and diesel cars, building up a network of charging stations with the same density as gas stations these days, and in the medium term “perhaps a switch from gas stations to green fuel stations for transport with fuel cells.”

Finally, scientific researchers must do their part “for production as well as for consumption” as “they are the driving force in the whole energy switch story.”

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...