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Climate goals ‘just’ reachable, but Belgium must double efforts

20:22 19/06/2019

According to a report commission by the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (Feb), the country can reach the 2030 climate goals set by the European Union, but it would need to greatly step up its efforts in order to do so. The report, carried out by the Boston Consulting Group, quotes a figure of €18 to €26 billion in investments, on top of investments already planned, in order to reach the goals.

Some climate change goals are set at the European level and concern sectors that fall under the EU emissions trading system. Greenhouse gas emissions originating from certain sectors, such as transport, agriculture and waste, do not fall under the trading system and have been split up into national goals.

Under the agreement reached in 2014, Belgium is to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in these sectors by 35% by 2030. That’s compared to the level of emissions measured in 2005.

“We commissioned the study in order to clarify the options that we have to cut CO2 emissions by 2030,” said Bernard Gilliot of Feb in a statement. “How much certain options will yield, how much they will cost and what obstacles need to be overcome in order to accomplish them.”

The report concluded that Belgium reaching its goal is “only just feasible”. While Belgium has reduced its greenhouse gasses over the last decade, it will have to markedly increase the speed and efficiency of its efforts if the 35% figure is to be reached over the next 11 years, it says.

The report pinpoints two areas where a large part of the €18-€26 billion needs to be spent: Renovation of buildings and housing for energy efficiency and a faster introduction of electric vehicles and loading stations. Specifically, the report states that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads need to be either fully electric or hybrids by 2030, and that annual building renovation needs to at least double.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that we are looking at an enormous challenge,” said Gilliot. “The study shows that we have made strides in sustainable renovations of buildings and electric mobility. But it also shows that it is essential that we take our efforts to a higher level, beginning with the draft National Energy and Climate Plan, which is not yet sufficiently coherent, thorough or concrete.”

Photo: According to the report, Belgium needs to double the number of buildings it renovates annually ©Getty Images

Written by Flanders Today