Belgium reaches first agreement on National Climate and Energy Plan

The Consultation Committee, chaired by Brussels and Flemish Environment ministers Alain Maron and Zuhal Demir, has reached a pivotal agreement on the National Climate and Energy Plan. The consensus, announced on Wednesday night, comes after months of negotiations and addresses critical issues surrounding greenhouse gas reduction targets.

At the end of last month, Maron announced that he would refer the Belgian climate policy file to the Consultation Committee to continue negotiations regarding responsibility sharing. Maron was particularly dissatisfied that Flanders did not want to deviate from its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 per cent while the country's target remained 47 per cent.

Following extensive negotiations, an initial agreement was reached on Wednesday evening. The Consultation Committee acknowledged the European target of a 47 per cent reduction for Belgium, with each region sharing responsibility for achieving this goal. However, ​ Demir maintained Flanders' commitment to its 40 per cent target and proposed a collaborative approach that respects the competencies of each region.

She suggested consolidating plans from each region, saying that measures for the remaining emissions would be determined later without immediate allocation to any specific entity. This received approval from the Consultation Committee.

“From the start, I made it clear that Flanders will not participate in the auction of percentages up to -47 per cent," Demir said. "Ecolo and Groen will disagree with this, but the demand to adjust the Flemish plans will not be met."

According to federal Energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen), Belgium can now finally submit a national plan to Europe. "Europe demands such a plan; the climate begs for it. [The plan] protects our citizens against the expensive consequences of climate change," she said.

Van der Straeten highlighted the urgency of addressing climate change, citing recent extreme weather events like the floods in West Flanders.


#FlandersNewsService | Brussels Environment minister Alain Maron © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

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