Flanders is serious about its measures to tackle climate change. The traditional parties in the Flemish Parliament, both majority and opposition, have approved a far-reaching plan with a number of targets to slash carbon-dioxide emissions.
- Vehicles using classic combustion engines will have to disappear in the long run. By 2030, the number of newly-manufactured vehicles of this type should be halved. This is to stimulate research and development on electric vehicles, which should become the new standard.
- The system of company cars, under which employees get a car as a fringe benefit at work, will be scrapped, just like the petrol card that goes with it. However, this is a challenge for the federal government.
- To tackle busy traffic, a general pay-as-you-drive system should be worked out for cars as well - this has recently been introduced for heavy goods vehicles.
- As from 2019, the Flemish public transport company De Lijn can only purchase new buses if these run on electricity, hydrogen or a hybrid system. From 2025, CO2 emissions should be cut completely in city centres.
- Heating systems using fuel oil and charcoal will be banned completely. At the same time, sustainable energy systems such as geothermal heat pumps should be stimulated.
- By 2030 Flanders should get 27 percent from its energy from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy or bio gas plants.
- In the same respect, Flemish MP's want to get rid of nuclear energy - the federal government has a somewhat double position on the issue.
- In order to stimulate non-polluting production methods in the industry, MP's demand tailored support, in order to step up competitiness of Flemish companies. A CO2 tax should be imposed on products from countries which are not doing enough to tackle climate change.
It is up to this government and the next ones to put all this into practice, but nothing is legally binding. Robrecht Bothuyne of CD&V says the a monitoring committee expects a clear and extensive report from the government each year, to explain in which way progress has been made.