Belgium’s draft energy-climate plan is not ambitious enough to achieve all of the objectives set by the EU for the year 2030. Whether it is done by improving energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy or by reducing emissions, the country will have to propose more ambitious plans by the end of the year, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.
The Commission has analysed the national projects of the 28 EU Member States to ensure that they are in line with the objectives set by the European Union for 2030.
Under the Paris Agreement, Europeans must, among other things, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, draw a 32% share of their energy from renewable sources, and significantly improve their energy efficiency.
For most Member States, there is still much work to be done, the Commission noted – and Belgium is one of the countries with the most work to do.
Specifically, the Commission is asking Belgium, among other things, to clarify how it intends to meet its objective of reducing greenhouse gases by 35% by 2030 (by the Commission’s calculations Belgium is currently on course to reduce such emissions by only 13%). With regard to renewable energies, the Commission has requested that Belgium “significantly increase its target proportion of usage by 2030 to at least 25%” (the current target is 18.3%). Belgium’s targeted increase in energy efficiency, described by the EU as “unambitious”, also needs to be increased.
The Commission however, has refrained from harsh criticism of the Member States; indeed, it has repeatedly offered to help them reach the prescribed targets. “We will support Belgian policies to improve their plans. We are ready to offer technical assistance so that the recommendations we are making can be implemented,” said Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete.
Mr Arias also stressed the importance of developing a final, comprehensive plan by the end of the year. “Governments come and go, but this plan will have to be implemented over the next ten years,” he said.