Belgium's recovery plan is in the top ten in the European Union when it comes to having a positive climate effect, according to a European study by an environmental think tank and supported by researchers from Solvay University in Brussels.
Overall, the “Green Recovery Tracker” analysis found that €3.33 billion of the €5.925 billion Belgium will receive from the EU will be invested in projects with a positive impact on its climate bill, whilst 35% of its budget is dedicated to improving its climate bill.
"Belgium is one of the best performers in Europe," Marek Hudon and Sandrine Meyer, professors at the Solvay Brussels School, who oversaw the analysis comparing it with ten other European countries, told Belga news agency.
Led by the Wuppertal Institute, the study analysed whether Belgium’s recovery plan, which on Friday was one of the first sent to the European Commission, would help to reduce the country’s emissions (this must be cut by 35 to 40% by 2030).
The analysis classified the projects submitted to the European Commission as part of countries’ recovery plans into six categories from having a "very positive" effect on climate to a"very negative" effect.
The projects included by Belgium were aimed at improving public transport (train, tram, etc.) and soft mobility and facilitating the breakthrough of renewable energies, such as the construction of an energy hub in the North Sea.
More specifically, it mentioned the installation of intelligent road lighting in Wallonia, the creation of a "renovation laboratory" in Brussels, the raising of bridges on the Albert Canal, and the development of recharging points for electric vehicles.
Belgium’s “climate-negative” projects are mainly in digitisation and aeronautics and space (€30 million euros will be invested in these projects), as these projects emit a lot of greenhouse gases, according to the analysis.
The European average of the ten countries analysed is 27%; France gets 23%, Germany 34%. Finland leads the way as 42% of its budget is very climate-friendly.