Belgium will not submit Energy and Climate Plan to EU due to internal disagreement

Brussels Climate minister Alain Maron is not planning to submit the Belgian energy and climate plan to the European Commission if Flanders does not increase its climate effort or provide financial guarantees. This was announced by Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir on Monday after the various ministers discussed the subject earlier that day.

By the end of June, European member states must have submitted an update of their energy and climate plans for the period from 2021 to 2030 on how they intend to reduce CO2 emissions. Europe is targeting a 55 per cent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels, which amounts to a 47 per cent reduction for Belgium.

However, Belgium will not meet that target, since Flanders does not want to go beyond a 40 per cent reduction. Demir confirmed that position during the meeting on Monday.

That is why Maron announced that he will not submit the proposal unless Flanders scales down its ambition - which is extremely unlikely - or provides guarantees for the financial consequences of not meeting the target. In the meantime, Maron wants to set up working groups on the issue.

Potential fine

However, Demir added that this was still only a draft and that a final plan would be published in June 2024. Her proposal entailed submitting that draft already, adding that internal consultations still need to take place, but that was rejected.

It remains to be seen what the consequences for Belgium of not meeting the targets will be. The 7 per cent gap will have to be compensated in one way or another. According to Demir, a potential fine will be caused by "the federal government stupidly going along with unachievable targets without the support of the largest region".


Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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