Belgium has ‘no uniform climate strategy’ for 2050
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Each region has its own plan with its own objectives, but these have not been added up to an overall Belgian figure. Credit: Belga
Belgium’s submission of a climate strategy for 2050 to the European Commission has no quantified objective, as the federal government has not submitted a contribution of its own.
In December 2019, the European Union formalised the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050, together with an obligation for the Member States. A regulation required each State to prepare a long-term strategy for the next ten years by 1 January 2020, in which the countries explain how they intend to reduce their CO2 emissions by 2050, reports BusinessAM.
Contrary to Europe’s demands, Belgium’s plan is not only about a month and a half late, but it also does not contain an overall ambition for 2050, and instead lists the separate plans of the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels governments. The federal government will not submit its own plan, reports De Standaard.
The country’s various governments will receive a text for approval next Wednesday, which will allow Belgium to formulate its climate strategy for 2050, which is different from its Climate Plan for 2030.
“Contrary to what the press says, the document does contain a national objective,” said Federal Minister for Energy, Marie Christine Marghem, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. Specifically, a reduction of 85% to 87% in greenhouse gas emissions, which corresponds to the sum of the objectives of the different regions, according to Marghem.
This figure, however, only applies to the so-called non-ETS sectors (outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme) such as transport, buildings or agriculture. For the ETS sectors, industries such as incinerators, oil refineries or iron and steel manufacturers, an overarching European target exists since 2013, meaning there is no quantified target for them at the level of the different member states. The ETS sectors are responsible for about 40% of European emissions.
“The role of the federal government is precisely to present a vision, not to put itself at the service of the regions,” said MP Tinne Van der Straeten, reports De Standaard.
“An action plan for climate policy is necessary. If everyone stays in their own corner, there can never be an effective strategy. The federal government can and must play the role of assembler, while still respecting the powers of the regions,” she said, adding that she is considering re-tabling a legislative proposal to combat fragmentation concerning the climate.