Flemish environment minister doubts Europe will impose fines for missing climate targets

Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir has expressed scepticism about whether Europe will go as far as fining member states that fail to meet their climate targets. She said so in an interview with Radio 1 on Friday after Belgium missed the deadline to submit an updated energy and climate plan to the European Commission for the second time.

European member states must submit revised versions of their energy and climate plans for 2021-2030, outlining their strategies for reducing CO2 emissions. Europe is aiming for a 55 per cent reduction in emissions, while Belgium is aiming for a 47 per cent reduction. It has long been known that Flanders is not willing to go beyond a 40 per cent reduction.

Belgium was granted an extension until the end of October, but a meeting of the relevant ministers' cabinets last week failed to resolve the issue. As a result, Belgium's energy and climate plan will not be submitted to Europe on time.

At the moment, only six member states are meeting the targets

Demir, meanwhile, is sceptical about whether Europe will go as far as fining member states that fail to meet their climate targets. "I want to see in 2030 whether Europe will impose these fines. At the moment, only six member states are meeting the targets."

It became clear before the summer that the EU might miss its target of cutting emissions by 55 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) then published a report saying that member states' plans were vague and had a significant funding gap.

The EU only managed to meet its 2020 climate targets due to the 2008 global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which caused a sharp drop in economic activity and related greenhouse gas emissions, the ECA said.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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