The Shift calls for action ahead of climate summit

120 captains of industry, academics and leaders of interest groups have joined forces to express their “severe disappointment” that Belgium’s federal and regional governments have failed to reach an accord on the effort our country will make to reduce carbon emissions.

They will express their concerns at a meeting with the Belgian delegation to the Paris Climate Summit on Saturday.
The summit gets under way on Sunday. However, after 6 years of negotiations, Belgium still hasn’t been able to draft a federal climate plan.

The Shift, a group that includes the CEOs of big companies such as Atlas Copco, Solvay and Bpost says that the failure to draft a climate plan is “an outright scandal”. The shift wrote an angry letter to the ministers that are responsible for climate in the federal and regional governments to reach an agreement.

The letter-writers say that they have made great efforts themselves to counter global warming, but that they want politicians to create a clear legislative framework on the issue.

"We are prepared to making big steps to address climate change and it is frustrating to see that this is not being translated into policies”, The Shift’s David Leyssens told VRT News.

Lack of ambition

Mr Leyssens added that “What we have witnessed is months of squabbling. However, as I understand it the various minister are back around the negotiating table and we hope that they will be able to basis for an accord.”

However, The Shift doubts that an 11th-hour deal will be struck before the summit. "An ambitious, visionary story is missing from the political debate on climate change.”

For this reason The Shift has launch a last-ditch call to politicians ahead of the summit. Belgium has no fewer than 4 ministers that are responsible for climate: Marie Christine Marghem (Francophone liberal, Federal Government), Joke Schauvliege (Christian democrat, Flemish Government), Paul Furlan (socialist, Walloon Government) and Céline Frémault (Francophone Christian democrat, Brussels Regional Government).