The Flemish government will be studying the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” climate package on the basis of its feasibility and affordability, and to map out the possible impact in the region.
On Wednesday, the Commission adopted the package of 14 proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
“No doubt praise has already been given by some benches, but we are first going to thoroughly test the ‘Fit for 55 package’ against our three criteria: ambitious, feasible and affordable,” Demir said in a press release.
Together with the Flemish Energy and Climate Agency (VEKA), Demir will study the 3,800 pages of proposals and impact analysis, focusing mainly on Flanders and Belgium, which is set to increase its target gas reduction to 47% by 2030, up from 35% today, compared to 2005.
According to Demir, Flanders has long been pressing for more clarity on the impact of the stricter European climate objective, specifically when it comes to who will bear the costs of the increased level of ambition and what the consequence would be for the energy bills of households and jobs.
The proposals are not definite legislation yet, as the European Council and the European Parliament will each have to examine the text separately, after which discussions will start with the European Commission in order to reach a final agreement, which, according to Demir, will take at least a year.
“We will not sit still in the meantime and will continue to focus on implementing the measures provided for in the European Climate Change Programme. There is still a lot of work to be done there and we are continuing to work on it,” Demir said.
Demir added that she predicts discussions within Belgium on the package and steps that will be taken will be smoother.
She added that she is “assuming that the colleagues of the other governments, who have called the loudest for a higher level of ambition, will show the same voluntarism after today’s meeting and take the efforts on board.”