Betty Matthysen

35 billion euros for Belgian Rail as part of the climate plan 

The federal government has presented its part of the national energy and climate plan for the coming decade (2021-2030). A massive 35 billion euros will be invested in our trains and rail infrastructure. The plan has been approved by key ministers today.

Belgium has to present a plan to the European Commission by the end of the year. It is next up to the different regions to present a plan, as they will also have to their part of the job. 

The climate and energy plan should allow Belgium to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030, and boost the sustainable energy share to reach 32 percent. In the previous plan, Belgium only reached 18.3 percent. 

The federal level has now redone its homework, earmarking a lot of cash for Belgian Rail. Investments will benefit both passenger and cargo traffic. However, there is much more than just Belgian Rail: the federal Energy Minister Christine Marghem also emphasized other key points such as

  • greener cars
  • more charging points for electric cars 
  • a plan to fade out subsidies for fossil fuels by 2030 (however, if energy supplies would be jeopardised, exceptions are possible)

The federal government could do a lot more: why not make electricity cheaper, and do something about the company cars

However, the environmental organisation Bond Beter Leefmilieu says this is not enough. Mathias Bienstman underlines that the federal government fails to use one of its most powerful instruments: taxation. "Make electricity cheaper, it will make it easier for people to charge their cars or bikes. And make fossil fuels more expensive, but this is not happening."

"There is no throrough reform of the system of company cars. They stick to the old principles: wind energy on the North Sea and Belgian Rail."