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EU verdict on Belgian climate report: Must do better

Wind park at Zeebrugge © Hans Hilllewaert/Wikimedia

The European Commission has issued a damning verdict on the climate and energy report for 2021-2030 submitted by the government.

The reports from the 27 member states are intended to allow the Commission to draw up the Union’s plans for the coming ten years, to set its goals for 2030 and to achieve the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

The reports were submitted at the end of last year, and so are based on the old emissions target of 40% fewer emissions by 2030. That target has since been amended to -55% by the Commission, while the European Parliament has approved a target of -60%.

The evaluation of Belgium’s report starts off with a slap on the wrist for the shortage of completed homework.

Belgium’s final integrated national energy and climate plan (NECP) is difficult to analyse as it does not follow the template provided in the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action,” the document says in its opening paragraph.

The evaluation goes on to criticise the Belgian report item by item.

So, the renewable energy contribution of 17% by 2030 is described as “unambitious”. Belgium’s contribution to energy efficiency targets is “of low ambition”. The report “does not set quantified objectives for energy security”.

Regarding the internal energy market, the final plan lacks specific policy objectives and measures,” the report goes on.

An annex lists 23 recommendations made by the Commission, and how Belgium has responded in its report. Two are ‘fully addressed; five are ‘largely addressed’; 10 are ‘partially addressed’; and six are ‘not addressed’.

The Commission’s reaction to Belgium’s report is embarrassing, but the De Croo government will be able to promise better things, as it has only been in office since the beginning of the month – and includes the two green parties among its ministers, for energy and for climate.

The De Croo government has also expressed support for an increased emission reduction of 55% by 2030, in line with the Commission’s revision. It also promises to adjust the climate and energy plan and plans to double the capacity of wind energy at sea in ten years.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times