Flemish government signs Climate and Energy Pact

The Flemish government has signed a Climate and Energy Pact at a climate summit in Ghent. It should reduce pollution levels and make Flanders greener again in the coming years and decades. "I am convinced we can meet the climate goals if we all contribute, and with citizens and companies that go faster than the government", the Flemish PM Geert Bourgeois said.
James Arthur Photography
Joke Schauvliege (Environment Minister), Geert Bourgeois (Flemish PM) and Bart Tommelein (Energy).

The summit served as the setting to discuss the climate policies of the coming years, and follows last week's climate plan. This climate plan, a kind of manifesto, boasts a more general approach including a wide set of goals and challenges , and was signed by all MP's of the traditional Flemish parties, majority and opposition.

The latest Climate and Energy Pact has now been signed by the government, and includes some very concrete goals. In general, it's about preserving open space and creating more green areas, reducing emissions and boosting sustainable energy. We should invest massively in solar panels and wind turbines.

From street lights to batteries

Contrary to the climate manifesto, this newly-signed pact contains very concrete measures, including:

  • the construction of 280 extra wind turbines
  • compulsory double glazing for rental properties from 2020
  • a switch to low-energy LED systems for street lights
  • a study has been ordered to investigate road-charging for cars
  • a framework will be created for the flexible storage of energy in batteries at home (energy from solar panels will have to be stored to avoid problems with the general grid system)
  • banks will offer cheap loans to allow citizens to invest in sustainable energy

 

"We are not there yet", says Geert Bourgeois. "We first want to meet the goals set out for 2020. Those for 2030 next will be even more difficult to meet. But I am convinced we can make it, if we all pull our weight and with citizens and businesses going at a faster pace than the government."