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Walloon citizens panel presents 168 recommendations for climate action

A build-up of traffic on a Belgian motorway (BELGA)
06:06 14/03/2022

The Walloon Citizens' Panel for the Climate has presented 168 recommendations resulting from the participatory process it has led since spring 2021. These proposals are part of the overall objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Wallonia by 55% by 2030.

The panel, composed of around 50 Walloon citizens, was created by the Walloon government to involve citizens in the revision of its Air-Climate-Energy Plan. "It's a question of revising upwards the ambitions of this plan in view of the climate emergency," said Philippe Henry, the walloon minister of climate, at the presentation of the panel’s findings in Namur on Sunday.

The recommendations were formulated according to nine areas of intervention. They have also been prioritised based on their impact and supposed acceptability to the population.

In terms of mobility, the recommendations range from reducing the price of train travel, to developing an integrated transport network and abolishing fuel cards. They also include a recommendation for the reduction of speed on motorways to a maximum of 100km/h.

On the issue of housing, there are elements such as developing the sharing of resources, swapping concrete for wood whenever possible and taxing new buildings to finance the renovation of empty buildings.

In the area of consumption, the proposals emphasise the organisation of transport routes for consumer goods at European level and the introduction of strong environmental and social commitments in trade agreements.

In terms of teaching and education, the citizens' panel insists on the need to modify school standards and integrate concepts related to the environment.

The 168 recommendations will now be analysed by the Walloon administration. Those that will be selected will feed into the future Air-Climate-Energy Plan, which must be adapted by the end of the year.

Written by Nick Amies