Belgium votes against European energy conservation directive

Belgium was one of just two EU countries to vote against a new European directive designed to reduce energy consumption. The only other country at the Energy Council meeting to vote against the directive was the Czech Republic.  

Four countries didn’t vote in favour of the measures. Belgium and the Czech Republic voted against, while Slovakia and Croatia abstained. However; as only a simple majority was required to approve the directive, it was passed. The Belgian Government said that it voted against the directive as it “couldn’t be achieved in a cost-effect way”.    

Criticism from the opposition and from Oxfam

A number of opposition politicians have reacted with disbelief at Belgium voting against the directive. The leader of the Flemish greens Meyrem Almaci said “A slap in the face for all the people that protested in favour of a more ambitious climate policy” (at Sunday’s climate march).

Meanwhile, the socialist member of the Flemish Parliament Bruno Tobback said that the various Belgian Ministers that are responsible for climate “Speak like Obama, but act like Trump”.

The NGO Oxfam Solidarity describe it as “An exceptionally cynical signal” coming as it did just two days after tens of thousands of people marched through Brussels against climate change.