Belgium unveiled its action plan for climate on Wednesday, confirming a national goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030, despite concerns that the Flemish could lag behind.
The plan was agreed in time for an end-of-year European Union deadline for member states to submit their climate goals, as the bloc sets eyes on net climate neutrality by 2050 under the Commission's European Green Deal.
The agreement largely confirmed goals already set out at the regional level by the governments of Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders, in a meeting which reportedly did not last very long and during which only "small decision" were needed, Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo told Bruzz.
While both Brussels and Wallonia's own climate and energy plans both go beyond the national goal of a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Flanders' recently unveiled climate plan sparked concerns after downgrading its carbon emissions goal to an "achievable" 32.6% by 2030.
Flemish Climate Minster Zuhal Demir acknowledged that Flanders' current stated goals fell short of the European target of 35% by 2030, adding that it was a goal Flanders would continue to "strive" towards and that it counted on future "innovations" to achieve that, De Standaard reports.
The agreement was greeted by Interim Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, who lauded the climate ministers' collaboration on Twitter, while federal climate and energy minister said that she counted on the "goodwill" of her Flemish colleagues.
If Brussels and Wallonia achieve their stated goals of reducing emissions by 40% and 55%, respectively, it could give a boost to Belgium's overall emissions cutback, keeping it in line with EU goals.
Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron said on Twitter the agreement is the "first step" of a process, adding that Belgium "could not afford to bicker" when it came to climate.
Maron is expected to present the Belgian plan in the regional parliament on the course of Wednesday.
The Brussels Times