Federal Climate Minister unimpressed with Flemish Climate Plan

The Federal Climate Minister Zakia Khattabi (Francophone green) has told VRT News that the Flemish Government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions in our region by 40% by 2030 will make it impossible for Belgium as a whole to reduce its carbon emissions by 47%. A 47% reduction in carbon emissions is the goal set for Belgium by the European Commission. Speaking in an interview with the weekday evening current affairs programme ‘Terzake’, Ms Khattabi said that “The gap left by Flanders will not be able to be bridged by Brussels and Wallonia. If we have to purchase emission rights, we will have to negotiate on how the bill should be split”. 

On Thursday evening the Flemish Government reached agreement on a climate plan in which it undertakes to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% (on 2005 levels) by the end of the decade. However, the European Commission has demanded that Belgium reduce its carbon emission by 47% by 2030.

"I recognise that the Flemish Government has raised its ambitions, but 40% less CO2 emissions is too small a step forward".

Ms Khattabi also pointed out that the Flemish Government’s plan to only allow the registration of emissions-free cars and vans from 2029 is something that falls under the competence of the Federal Government.

"Achieving the goal set by Europe of reducing emissions by 47% won’t be easy as the goal set by Flanders is so far away from this. The gap left by Flanders will not be able to be bridged by Brussels and Wallonia, both of which have said that they will be close to the goal set by Europe. This is because Flanders accounts for 60% of emissions (in Belgium)”

If Belgium fails to meet the norm set by the European Commission, it will have to pay for emission rights. “De facto Flanders is pushing Belgium towards having to pay for emission rights. The federal authorities will have to negotiate with the regions about how the bill will be split", Ms Khattabi said. 

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