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Regional Climate Ministers want greater ambition on climate change

Belgium’s three regional Energy Ministers have held a meeting at the Climate Change Conference in the Polish city of Katowice. They agreed that Belgium should be more ambitious in the measures it takes against climate change. However, what exactly this should entail is still unclear. In future, the three regional ministers will hold monthly meetings with the Federal Minister responsible for Energy and the Environment Marie-Christine Marghem (Francophone liberal). 

There was no agreement on a proposal from the Walloon Energy Minister Jean-Luc Crucke (Francophone liberal) for the 2020 to be organised here in Belgium.    

The general feeling at the Climate Change Conference is that we will need to increase our efforts if climate change is to be limited.

Previously, the EU had agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 40% (from 1990 levels) by 2030. However, 10 EU countries now that that this isn’t enough and they are now requesting a 55% reduction by 2030.   

The Walloon Energy Minister Jean-Luc Crucke believes that Belgium should, like our Dutch neighbours, join the list of European countries that back the more ambitious emissions reduction objectives.  

Mr Crucke told journalists that “I think that Belgium should head in this direction. I know that it is difficult for some but I will put all my energy into convincing everyone"

Belgium wants to be at the top of the class

Mr Crucke put his proposal to his Flemish and Brussels counterparts Joke Schauvliege (Flemish Christian democrat) and Céline Fremault (Francophone Christian democrat) at aa meeting on Tuesday evening.   

The three ministers say that they want Belgium “to join the dynamic of the most ambitious members of the European Union” when it comes to fighting climate change.

They expressed “their strongest wish” for the next meeting of the Consultative Committee that is made up of the Federal Minister and the regional ministers to approve the National Energy and Climate Change Plan that needs to be handed in to the European Commission.

"This plan should at least enable Belgium to meet its commitments regarding the reduction of greenhouse gasses”, Mr Crucke added.  

The three minister also agreed to hold monthly meetings about the “European and international climate agenda”. 

Flemish Minister reticent

 The Flemish Minister Joke Schauvliege rejected Mr Coucke’s proposal for the 2020 Climate change Conference to be held in Belgium. She would rather see the 200 million euro it would cost be invested in measures to combat climate change.    

Prior to the meeting Ms Schauvliege had told VRT television news that she would first have to consult with the other members of the Flemish Government before agreeing to increase the level of emissions reduction to 55%.