Belgium sticks to emissions reduction objective of 35% by 2030

Yesterday evening Belgium’s Federal Energy Minister, Marie-Christine Marghem, made crystal clear that Belgium has no intention to renegotiate the reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030. This came after a controversial day on the subject.

At issue: an article which appeared in the Flemish press yesterday morning. This claimed, on the basis of comments made last weekend by the spokeswoman for the Minister, that Belgium was intending to renegotiate this highly ambitious target downwards.

During a press conference yesterday (Tuesday) Ms Marghem said, “This was a communication error.” The Minister added, “I have recently taken on a Dutch-speaking spokeswoman and she was not in possession of all of the facts.”

Belgium therefore intends to stick to its 35% greenhouse gas emissions target from non-industrial sources (transport, agriculture, waste and energy efficiency) by 2030. Ms Marghen confirmed, “I am not someone who will turn my back on this path into which a lot of effort has been invested. The target is clear, shared by all four levels of Belgian government and cannot be dishonoured.”

She also said that she was pleased with the “highly ambitious” reactions given yesterday by the various regional ministers. The Minister further went on, “We will undertake enormous efforts, indeed colossal, to reach this target.”

Belgium will confirm its position at the meeting of the European Council of Ministers on June 19th. Belgium will be represented by the Flemish Environment Minister, Joke Schauvliege.

Ms Marghem further said that the spokeswoman who caused the controversy will still remain in the Minister’s department. The Minister simply puts it down to “an error caused by inexperience.” The blunder forced the Prime Minister’s department to react on Tuesday morning, denying the information published in the press.

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