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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Belgium

Climate change mitigation (Belgium)

Why should we care about this issue

Topic
Climate change Climate change
more info
NFP-Belgium
Organisation name
NFP-Belgium
Reporting country
Belgium
Organisation website
Organisation website
Contact link
Contact link
Last updated
22 Dec 2010
Content license
CC By 2.5
Content provider
NFP-Belgium
Published: 05 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 22 Dec 2010 original
Key message

Some signs suggest that climate change is already having an impact in Belgium. We are starting to obtain interesting data on future climate change from emissions scenarios and socio-economic forecasts. The coastal region, water resources, flood risk and human health could be a concern in such scenario’s, but there is still great uncertainty about the issue.

There are signs suggesting that climate change is already having an impact in Belgium with very high annual average temperatures being recorded over the past two decades, roughly a 7 % increase in annual mean rainfall since 1833 and early migration of some species of birds. All climate scenarios clearly indicate, by 2100, an increase in the ambient temperature (e.g. by 1.5 °C to 4.4 °C in winter and by 2.4 °C to 7.2 °C in summer), a higher evaporation in both winter and summer and, finally, more precipitation during winter. The sea level at the Flemish coast may rise by 20 to 200 cm this century. The majority of climate scenarios indicate a drop in the average summer precipitation. Combined with higher evaporation this will decrease the lowest river flows during dry summers by over 50 % by the end of the 21st century. The chances of severe water shortages increase as a result. Despite a drop in summer precipitation, an increase in the number of extreme summer storms may be expected. This increases the probability of flooding of sewers [1].

We are starting to obtain interesting data on future climate change from emissions scenarios and socio-economic forecasts. Current data lead us to believe that ecosystems and forests will be vulnerable in Belgium, even if average regional temperatures rise by less than 3 °C (2 °C worldwide) (in summers from the end of the 20th compared to summers at the end of the 21st century). The coastal region, water resources, flood risk and human health could also be a concern in such a scenario, but there is still great uncertainty about the issue. Ecosystems and forests will probably be seriously threatened if temperatures rise by 3 °C or more locally (2 °C worldwide). Droughts and heatwaves are likely to pose major health and water availability problems and could prove harmful for agriculture and the soil functions [2].

 


[1] Environmental Outlook 2030 for Flanders (2009), http://www.milieurapport.be/nl/publicaties/milieuverkenning-2030/

[2] Belgium’s fifth national communication. Climate change. http://www.climat.be/IMG/pdf/NC5_EN.pdf

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 05 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 22 Dec 2010 original
Key message

A decoupling of economic growth and primary energy consumption can be seen over the 1980-2007 period in all three regions of Belgium. However, in comparison to its neighbouring countries, Belgium scores weakly according to the Structural Indicator “energy intensity of the economy”.

Figures

Figure 1: Primary energy intensity in Belgium, 1980-2007

GDP index - Primary consumption index - Energy intensity index
Data source
http://statbel.fgov.be/nl/binaries/evolution_energy_market_2007_nl_tcm325-64918.pdf
Figure 1: Primary energy intensity in Belgium, 1980-2007
Fullscreen image Original link

Total primary energy intensity

Energy intensity measures the quantity of energy consumed by the economy to produce a production unit.

Having dropped sharply between 1980–1985, energy intensity continued to grow until 1998, when it began dropping regularly until 2002. It then increased slightly in 2003 before decreasing once again in 2006 and 2007. Energy intensity in 2007 is at the same level as in 1985 (Figure 1).

A decoupling of economic growth and primary energy consumption can be seen over the 1980-2007 period, with this often being cited as one of the objectives of sustainable development1.

This decoupling can be witnessed in all three regions in Belgium2. However, in comparison to its neighbouring countries, Belgium scores weakly according to the Structural Indicator ‘energy intensity of the economy‘ published annually by Eurostat (see http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1& plugin=1&language=en&pcode=tsien020 for details).

 


1 Le marché de l’énergie en 2007 – [The Energy Market in 2007], FPS Economy, Directorate-General Statistics and Economic Information

Key message

In Belgium, buildings (residential and tertiary sector) are the number one final consumer of primary energy (31 %), followed by industry (29,9 %) and transport (22,7 %). During the period 1979-2007, the iron and steel sector experienced a 50,0 % drop in final consumption. The transport sector increased its final consumption by 60.4% during the same period.

Final energy consumption by sector

Final energy consumption is a country’s gross apparent primary energy consumption after deduction of processing activities and energy loss. Overall final energy consumption dropped at an annual rate of 0,9 % between 2000 and 2007, and Belgium registered an overall decline of 2,9 % in 2006-2007.

In Belgium, buildings (residential and tertiary sector) are the number one final consumer of primary energy (31 %), followed by industry (29,9 %) and transport (22,7 %). Non-energy uses, which are an activity indicator for the petrochemical industry (naphtha, natural gas) also account for a substantial part of consumption (Figure 2).

The iron and steel sector experienced a 50 % drop in final consumption over the 1979-2007 period, while industry as a whole saw its final consumption decrease by 10,4 % over the same period. However, industry (excluding the iron and steel industries) consumption increased by 20,8 % over the same period.

Despite a 1,2 % drop in consumption in 2007, the transport sector is one of the sectors which has seen the most spectacular increases in final consumption over the 1979-2007 period (+60,4 %).

The final consumption of the residential (and equivalent) sector dropped by 10,7 % over the 1979-2007 period, whereas that of the non-energy sector increased by 29 %. Final business consumption rose by 14,1 % over the same period.

 

Figure 2: Evolution of final energy consumption in Belgium (consumption in 2007, in Ktoe (NCV), and average annual growth rate in % calculated for the period 2000-2007)

 

Final consumption 2007 (Ktoe)

Growth 1979-2007 (%)

Annual average rate 1979-2007 (%)

Annual average rate 2000-2007 (%)

Share 1979 (%)

Share 2007 (%)

Iron and steel industry

3.076

-50,0

-2,4

-6,7

16,4

7,3

Other industries

9.450

+20,8

+0,7

+0,5

20,9

22,6

Transport

9.510

+60,4

+1,7

-0,1

15,8

22,7

Residential and equivalent

12.988

-10,7

-0,4

-1,4

38,8

31,0

Non-energy uses

6.848

+29,0

+3,0

+0,8

8,1

16,4

TOTAL

41.872

+11,9

+0,4

-0,9

100,0

100,0

Source: FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy - The energy market in 2007–2008 edition

 

For more details per region, see the following sources:

Walloon Region

http://etat.environnement.wallonie.be/index.php?mact=tbe,m787b7,default,1&m787b7what=fiches&m787b7alias=Bilan-energetique-de-la-Region-wallonne_&m787b7returnid=40&page=40

Flemish Region

http://www.milieurapport.be/Upload/main/2.3_Energy%20flows%20in%20Flanders.pdf

Brussels-Capital Region

- in French: http://www.bruxellesenvironnement.be/etatdelenvironnement

(see more particularly "Synthèse de l'état de l'environnement 2007-2008" p.22 in "Synthèse 2009" and "Bilans énergétiques" in "Etudes")

- in Dutch: http://www.leefmilieubrussel.be/staatvanhetleefmilieu

(see more particularly "Synthese van de staat van het leefmilieu 2007-2008" p.22 in "Synthese 2009" and "Energiebalans" in "Studies")

- in English: http://www.bruxellesenvironnement.be/etatdelenvironnement

(see more particularly "Summary report of the state of the environment 2007-2008" p.24 in "Synthesis 2009")

 

Key message

Primary energy consumption dropped on average by 0,3 % a year over the 2000-2007 period. The consumption of coal decline sharply whereas the use of renewables increased sharply in this period.

Figures

Figure 4: Primary generation of renewable energy in Belgium (2007).

Contribution of different sources to primary generation of renewable energy in Belgium (2007).
Data source
http://www.climat.be/IMG/pdf/NC5_EN.pdf
Figure 4: Primary generation of renewable energy in Belgium (2007).
Fullscreen image Original link
Data sources
Source

Primary energy consumption by fuel

Primary energy consumption dropped on average by 0,3 % per year over the 2000-2007 period (Figure 3). There are marked differences from one source to the next within this general decrease. Coal declined sharply (-45,2 %) during these seven years and only represented 7,8 % of total consumption in 2007, in particular due to declining demand by certain sectors (coking plants and power stations). Consumption of petroleum and of nuclear energy remained relatively stable. Renewable fuels saw a sharp increase (+17,1 % per year on average). The overall rate of dependence (ratio of net imports to gross internal consumption of primary energy) was 88,1 % in 2007. The relative rate of dependence on petroleum and petroleum products, which had slipped below the 50 % mark in 1999 and 2000, moved back over that level in 2007, to 53,3 %.

 

Figure 3: Evolution of primary energy consumption in Belgium - Gross apparent consumption in 2007, in Ktoe (NCV), and average annual growth rate in %, calculated for the period 2000-2007.

 

2007 (Ktoe)

2007 (share in %)

Evolution 2000-2007
(annual %)

Solid fuels

4.612

7,8 %

-8,2 %

Petroleum, petroleum products

23.073

39,2 %

-0,9 %

Natural gas

14.969

25,4 %

+1,6 %

Renewable fuels

2.917

5,0 %

+17,1 %

Nuclear energy

12.566

21,4 %

+0.0 %

Other (primarily electricity)

682

1,2 %

+7.4 %

TOTAL

58.819

100 %

-0,3 %

Source: FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy, the energy market 2007

 

Primary energy intensity, the ratio of primary energy consumption to GDP expressed as a volume (1990 price), has been marking a break with the upward long-term trend since 1998.

Renewable energy still represents only a small share of primary energy use in Belgium (less than 1 % for the period 1990-2000 and 5,0 % in 2007). In 2007, the three main renewable energy sources used in Belgium were biomass (31,2 %), followed by hydraulic (28,9 %) and municipal waste (13,8 %) (see Figure 4).

 

For details per region on the primary energy consumption by fuel and specifically the share of the various renewable energy sources of the total renewable fraction, see the following references:

Walloon Region

http://etat.environnement.wallonie.be/index.php?mact=tbe,m787b7,default,1&m787b7what=fiches&m787b7alias=Sources-primaires-d-energie-et-emissions-de-polluants-atmospheriques_1&m787b7returnid=40&page=40

http://etat.environnement.wallonie.be/index.php?mact=tbe,m787b7,default,1&m787b7what=fiches&m787b7alias=Electricite-et-chaleur-d-origine-renouvelable-et-issues-de-la-cogeneration_1&m787b7returnid=40&page=40

Flemish Region

http://www.milieurapport.be/Upload/main/2.3_Energy %20flows %20in %20Flanders.pdf

http://www.milieurapport.be/Upload/main/2.3_Electricity %20production %20from %20renewable %20energy %20sources %20 %28green %20power %29.pdf

Brussels-Capital Region

- in French: http://www.bruxellesenvironnement.be/etatdelenvironnement
(see more particularly "Synthèse de l'état de l'environnement 2007-2008" p.22 in "Synthèse 2009" and "Bilans énergétiques" in "Etudes")

- in Dutch: http://www.leefmilieubrussel.be/staatvanhetleefmilieu
(see more particularly "Synthese van de staat van het leefmilieu 2007-2008" p.22 in "Synthese 2009" and "Energiebalans" in "Studies")

- in English: http://www.bruxellesenvironnement.be/etatdelenvironnement
(see more particularly "Summary report of the state of the environment 2007-2008" p.24 in "Synthesis 2009")

 

Key message

Belgium is committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 7,5 % under the Kyoto protocol. Assuming a linear target path from 1990 to 2010, total GHG emissions in 2007 were 4 % below this target path.

Figures

Figure 5: Belgian greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2007

Belgian greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2007 (excluding LULUCF) compared with the Kyoto objective. The assumed base year for CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions is 1990. For fluorinated gases (HFC, PFC and SF6) on the other hand, the assumed base year is 1995. The index value 100 on the Y-axis corresponds to the sum of CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions in 1990 and HFC, PFC and SF6 emissions in 1995. Since there was an increase of fluorinated gas emissions in Belgium during the period 1990-1995, the total of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 is less than 100 %. The blue curve thus represents the total emissions of greenhouse gasses according to two different time references.
Data source
http://www.climat.be/IMG/pdf/NC5_EN.pdf
Figure 5: Belgian greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2007
Fullscreen image Original link

Figure 6: Regional greenhouse gas emissions trends in Belgium.

The assumed base year for CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions is 1990. For fluorinated gases (HFC, PFC and SF6) on the other hand, the assumed base year is 1995. The index value 100 on the Y-axis corresponds to the sum of CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions in 1990 and HFC, PFC and SF6 emissions in 1995. All three curves thus represent the total emissions of greenhouse gasses according to two different time references. Since there is no difference between emissions of fluorinated gasses in the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region between 1990 and 1995, 1990 equals 100 %. However, due to an increase in fluorinated gas emissions in the Flemish Region during the same period, the total of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 is less than 100 % in this region.
Data source
http://www.climat.be/IMG/pdf/NC5_EN.pdf
Figure 6: Regional greenhouse gas emissions trends in Belgium.
Fullscreen image Original link

Greenhouse gas emission trends

Total greenhouse gas emissions (without Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry - LULUCF) in Belgium amounted to 131.3 Mt CO2 eq. in 2007 – 8,3 % lower than in 1990[3]. They dropped by 9,9 % in 2007 compared with the base-year emissions (Figure 5).

Under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU ’burden-sharing’ agreement, Belgium is committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 7,5 %. Assuming a linear target path from 1990 to 2010, total GHG emissions in 2007 were 4 % below this target path. However, emissions are projected to increase over the coming years.

The major greenhouse gas emitted in Belgium is carbon dioxide (CO2), which accounted for 87,2 % of total emissions in 2007. Emissions of CO2 decreased by 3,4 % from 1990 to 2007, while CH4 and N2O dropped by 33 % and 25 % respectively over the same period. Fluorinated gas emissions dropped by 59 % over the 1995-2007 period.

The regional trends in GHG emissions are shown in Figure 6. In 2007, the Flemish Region accounted for 62 % of Belgian emissions, Wallonia for 35 % and the Brussels-Capital Region for 3 %.


[3] In accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, the base year is 1990 for CO2, CH4 and N2O, but 1995 for fluorinated gases (HFC, PFC and SF6).

 

Key message

GHG's in the Brussels-Capital Region are decreasing by almost 4% between 1990 and 2007. These gases are primarily emitted by heating in the residential and service industry (around 70 %) and road traffic (around 20 %). Heating is logically driven by climatic conditions and hence variations of emissions in Brussels are largely influenced by climatic variations. Since 2005, the emissions by buildings have tended to decline.

Brussels-Capital Region

The Brussels-Capital Region is a city of more than one million inhabitants. The companies present in the region are mostly small and medium-sized and are responsible for only a small share (about 7 %) of regional GHG emissions. GHG’s are primarily emitted by heating in the residential and service industry (around 70 %) and road traffic (around 20 %). Heating is logically driven by climatic conditions and hence variations of emissions in Brussels are largely influenced by climatic variations.. The global variations shown in Figure 6 follow climatic variations.

GHG's in the Brussels-Capital Region are decreasing by almost 4% between 1990 and 2007. According to the burden sharing between the 3 Regions and the federal state (2004), the Brussels-Capital Region, where agricultural and industrial activity is limited, may not increase its GHG's emissions by more than 3.475% over the 2008-2012 period compared to 1990. Mobility problems and energy use for the heating of buildings, which are difficult to correct in the short run, were recognized as specific for the Region.

Since 2005, the emissions by buildings have tended to decline, whereas , according to estimates, the entire stock of occupied dwellings grew between 2005 and 2007 (+2,4% for the population) and the stock of offices increased in the same period. This development is also related to milder weather conditions during the same time period.

Large variations can be observed in smaller emitter sectors, for example a reduction (around 60 %) of fugitive emissions, linked to the improvement of the gas distribution network (reduction of leakage) and an increase in fluorinated gas emission from refrigeration activities (including transport) and air conditioning by a factor of around 20 (mainly due to the replacement of gases covered by the Montreal Protocol by gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol). As a result of this increase, these emissions of fluorinated gases are now close to 5 % of regional emissions.

 

More information:
- in French : http://www.bruxellesenvironnement.be/etatdelenvironnement
(see more particularly "Synthèse de l'état de l'environnement 2007-2008" p.24 in "Synthèse 2009")
- in Dutch : http://www.leefmilieubrussel.be/staatvanhetleefmilieu
(see more particularly "Synthese van de staat van het leefmilieu 2007-2008" p.24 in "Synthese 2009" )
- in English : http://www.bruxellesenvironnement.be/etatdelenvironnement
(see more particularly "Summary report of the state of the environment 2007-2008" p.26 in "Synthesis 2009")

 

Key message

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Flemish Region are decreasing by about 5 % between 1990 and 2007. However, emissions in the transport sector and commercial/institutional sector are increasing.

Flemish Region

Overall greenhouse gas emissions in the Flemish Region are decreasing by about 5 % between 1990 and 2007 (including emissions of road transport calculated with the national approach and emissions of F-gases from 1995 onwards). Taking into account the most recent emission figures for road transport calculated with the MIMOSA IV-methodology, emissions even decreased with more than 7 % between 1990 and 2007. This new approach will be included in the official reporting obligations to the EC and the UNFCCC in 2010.

An important increase in greenhouse gas emissions was detected in the sectors of transport and the ‘other sectors[4]' (mainly in the commercial/institutional sector) between 1990 and 2007: The emissions in the sector of transport have been increasing since 1990 because of an explosive growth and an important use of motorised transport. This growth has been slowing down during the last few years. In the ‘other sectors’ a reduction in energy use (and consequently in the emissions of CO2) is detected after the large increase until 2003, but still the 2007 level is not yet below the 1990 level.

The increase in greenhouse gas emissions in these sectors (see ‘other sectors’ above) is undone by the reduction of emissions 1) in the sector of industrial processes (mainly due to the reduction of F-gasses between 1990 and 2003 and the measures taken in the chemical industry to reduce emissions of N2O), 2) in the sector of energetic industry because of a shift to the gaseous fuels and a larger share for CHP and renewables, 3) at the solid waste disposal sites 4) in the sector of agriculture (enteric fermentation as well as manure management) mainly due to a decrease of the total livestock and 5) in dwellings due to milder climate conditions.


[4] “other sectors” is a ‘rest category’ excluding the waste, agriculture, residential sector and all industrial sectors.

 

Key message

In Wallonia, emissions dropped considerably between 1990 and 2007. However, road transport-related emissions continued to increase, by around one third since 1990.

Walloon Region

In Wallonia, emissions dropped considerably between 1990 and 2007. This change was caused by several factors: the growing use of natural gas and biomass, and rational use of energy, particularly in the energy production sector and industry, improved industrial processes, the closure of iron and steel plants, biogas recovery and use in solid waste disposal sites and a cut in agricultural emissions following a reduction in the total number of livestock.

Finally, the very mild winters in 2006 and 2007 caused a sharp cut in heating-related emissions which in turn had a significant effect on global emissions. However, road-transport related emissions continued to increase. This growth has slowed down since 2005, but road transport nevertheless remains a critical sector, as its emissions have increased by around one third since 1990.

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 05 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 22 Dec 2010 original
Key message

Under these policies, greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium (excluding LULUCF) are expected to increase by 3% in 2020. Main factors explaining the significant increase after 2010 are the assumed increased electricity demand combined with the nuclear phase out and increased production in industrial sectors producing process emissions.

The ‘with measures’ scenario indicates the likely evolution of greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium under current policies and measures. This scenario includes all policies and measures adopted at the end of 2008 and described in the National Climate Plan of Belgium for the period 2009 – 2012[1]. Under these policies, greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium (excluding LULUCF) are expected to increase from 145.7 Mton CO2-eq in the base year to 150.8 Mton CO2-eq in 2020 (+3 %). Main factors explaining the significant increase after 2010 are the assumed increased electricity demand combined with the nuclear phase-out[2] and increased production in industrial sectors producing process emissions.

Uncertainties regarding exogenous variables such as economic growth, climate conditions, electricity imports exist and their level influences the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, notably in the sectors covered by the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

The ‘additional measures’ scenario presented in fifth national communication[3] under the UNFCCC showed an additional reduction effect of 11.3 Mton in 2020, reducing the total CO2-eq in the ‘with additional measures’ scenario to 139.5 Mton CO2-eq.

With the approval of the National Allocation Plan for the period 2008–2012 under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the Belgian Kyoto target is translated into a target for the sectors not covered by the EU ETS. This target equals 76.3 Mton CO2-eq. The average non-ETS emissions level in the Kyoto-period is estimated to be 79.9 Mton CO2-eq or 3.6 Mton CO2-eq above the annual target. Belgium will make use of the Kyoto Mechanisms to cover these remaining emissions.

 


[2] Since the elaboration of this scenario, the federal government has decided to postpone the closure of 3 nuclear power plants, while remaining in the framework of the nuclear phase out foreseen by the law of January 31, 2003.

[3] Belgium’s fifth national communication. Climate change. http://www.climat.be/IMG/pdf/NC5_EN.pdf

 

Key message

If current environmental legislation would remain unchanged, greenhouse gas emissions could increase by 31% in the period 2006-2030. However, with additional measures a significant reduction is possible far beyond current European ambitions concerning climate change.

Figures

Figure 7: The production of renewable electricity (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).

Detail of the production of renewable electricity according to the reference scenario (REF), Europe scenario (EUR) and visionary scenario (VISI), (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).
Data source
http://www.milieurapport.be/upload/main/MIRA_compleet_TW.pdf
Figure 7: The production of renewable electricity (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).
Fullscreen image Original link

Figure 9: Netto greenhouse gas emissions (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).

Netto greenhouse gas emissions according to the reference scenario (REF), Europe scenario (EUR) and visionary scenario (VISI), (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).
Data source
http://www.milieurapport.be/upload/main/MIRA_compleet_TW.pdf
Figure 9: Netto greenhouse gas emissions (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).
Fullscreen image Original link

Figure 8: Gross domestic electricity consumption (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).

Gross domestic electricity consumption according to the reference scenario (REF), Europe scenario (EUR) and visionary scenario (VISI), (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).
Data source
http://www.milieurapport.be/upload/main/MIRA_compleet_TW.pdf
Figure 8: Gross domestic electricity consumption  (Flemish Region, 2006-2030).
Fullscreen image Original link

Beyond Kyoto

The Environmental Outlook 2030 for Flanders[3] investigates how the quality of the environment might develop in the Flemish Region and what impact policy could have on this. The future developments have been depicted using three policy scenarios with increasing levels of ambition:

  • The reference scenario (REF) investigates how far the current environmental policy reaches.

  • The Europe scenario (EUR) investigates what may be required to realise the European ambitions concerning climate change, air quality and water quality in the medium term. >

  • The visionary scenario (VISI) investigates how the environment may be safeguarded for present and future generations.>

In the reference scenario, the gross domestic energy consumption will be 13 % higher in 2030 than in 2006. The total emissions of greenhouse gases will increase by 12 % in 2020 and even by 31 % by 2030 compared to 2006. In 2006 the share of renewable energy in the gross end consumption was only 0.8 %. If the policy remains unchanged this will increase to 4 % by 2020 and 6 % by 2030. The use of renewable energy sources is beneficial both for the security of the supply and the emissions of greenhouse gasses.

In the Europe scenario, the gross domestic energy consumption continues to fluctuate around the 2006 level. As a result the Flemish Region cannot fulfil the energy efficiency target of a 20 % increase by 2020 in relation to an unchanged policy. Approximately 9 % of the gross end consumption of energy will be from renewable sources of energy by 2020. Belgium had a target of 13 % imposed by Europe. The share of green electricity in the electricity production will grow to 22 %. There is sufficient potential for renewable sources of energy in the Flemish Region to meet the demand. Transport increases the use of biofuels (including from the second generation) and reaches the target of 10 % renewable energy by 2020.

In the visionary scenario, the gross domestic energy consumption falls by 20.6 % by 2020 compared to the reference scenario. As a result, the Flemish Region meets the European energy efficiency target. The proportion of renewable energy in the gross end consumption stagnates at 9.2 % in 2020. The share increases to 26.4 % by 2030. The non-ETS sectors succeed in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 32 % by 2020 and halving them by 2030, compared to 1990. After 2020 the ETS-sectors also succeed in bringing their emissions, through national measures under the 2006 level by 21 %. This decrease must to a great extent be attributed to the energy sector.


[3] http://www.milieurapport.be/nl/publicaties/milieuverkenning-2030/ (Dutch only – English translation expected to be available during May 2010)

 

Key message

The observance of the regional commitment to the Kyoto Protocol in the Brussels-Capital Region risks depending on the temperature between 2008 and 2012.

Figures

Figure 10: Direct GHG emissions in the Brussels-Capital Region (1990-2007) and projections until 2020

None
Data source
http://documentatie.leefmilieubrussel.be/documents/SEE_completNL_Def_290910_web.pdf
Figure 10: Direct GHG emissions in the Brussels-Capital Region (1990-2007) and projections until 2020
Fullscreen image Original link

The GHG emissions have been estimated until 2020 by taking into account the policies and measures that have already been implemented or planned and considering various climate scenarios.Modelling is however always complex, as a result of the numerous hypotheses that have to be considered to reflect the specific circumstances prevalent in Brussels.

We can learn from the modelling that for unchanged policies, and given the impending expiry, the observance of the regional obligation with respect to the Kyoto Protocol risks depending on the temperature between 2008 and 2012.

Also worthy of note is the Region's commitment to reduce its GHG's emissions by 30% in 2025, compared to 1990 (Covenant of the Mayors).


Existing and planned responses

Published: 05 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 22 Dec 2010 original

In the Belgian federal system, policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are mapped out at different levels of responsibility based on the division of powers between the federal government and the regions. Each level of power establishes its own priorities for environment and climate policy. Coordination bodies have been set up to harmonise and create synergy between the policies implemented by the federal government and the three regions, the National Climate Commission being the most important. The general context for the preparation of climate change policies and measures is consequently determined by the plans established by the federal and regional authorities setting out policy objectives and strategies.

Through the cooperation agreement for the national burden sharing dated 8 March 2004, each federal entity has been assigned a target for reducing emissions by comparison with 1990: -5,2 % for the Flemish Region, -7,5 % for the Walloon Region and +3.475 % for the Brussels-Capital Region. The balance, still in accordance with Europe's burden sharing, allows Belgium a target of -7,5 %, which means a reduction of 2.442 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year for the period 2008 to 2012 at the national level.

Under the aegis of the National Climate Commission, a national climate plan[1] has been set up. This is based on the various regional plans and federal measures. It is called ‘Belgium's national climate plan for 2009 to 2012 – an inventory of the measures in place and the state of play as of 31 December 2008’. This plan is based on six sectoral strategic axes. These are to optimise the production of energy, to use energy rationally in buildings, to exert influence on industrial processes, to develop sustainable transport modes, to foster sustainable management of agricultural and forestry ecosystems, to reinforce efforts having regard to waste management and five auxiliary strategic axis that are more horizontal. These are to step up research efforts on the subject of climate change, to create awareness among Belgian protagonists of the fight against climate change, to reinforce direct involvement of the res publica in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, to implement flexibility mechanisms and to integrate the climate dimension into policy on development aid. Each of these axes has its corresponding series of concrete policies and measures. Within the framework of chapter 5 of the fifth National communication on climate change, these axes have been slightly modified.

The public authorities are nonetheless endeavouring to promote the development of renewable energy as a response to the issues of security of energy supplies and polluting emissions, and with a view to enhancing the value of local resources and creating jobs. In time, renewable energy is expected to constitute a substantial share of primary energy generation. Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources establishes an indicative target of 6 % of electricity from renewable sources in gross electricity consumption, to be attained by 2010. Various wind energy projects in particular are being implemented. In 2007, renewable energy (hydraulic, wind, biomass and recovery fuels) represented 5,4 % of primary electricity generation.

At regional level a number of climate plans have been implemented. There is the climate policy plan for 2006 - 2012 for the Flemish Region[2], the Air-Climate plan for the Walloon Region[3] and the air and climate plan for 2002 to 2010 for the Brussels-Capital Region[4]. Some of these plans have already been assessed and structures are already in place for preparing the next plans.

A summary of policies and measures for the reduction of GHG emissions at the federal and regional levels is available in the Belgium’s Fifth National Communication Climate Change under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (http://www.climatechange.be/IMG/pdf/NC5_EN.pdf, especially see the overview table of policies and measures, p73-87). 

 


[2] See http://www.lne.be/themas/klimaatverandering/klimaatconferentie/vlaams-klimaatbeleidsplan-2006-2012/flemish-climate-policy-plan-2006-2012

[3] The ‘Plan Air Climat’ for the Walloon Region: http://airclimat.wallonie.be/

Flemish Region

Some of the most important measures in the Flemish Region include: financial support for electricity generation from renewable energy sources (RES) in the energy supply sector; financial incentives are foreseen for the rational use of energy (RUE) and RES in the residential, commercial and agricultural sector (incl. glasshouse cultivation); imposition of energy and indoor requirements (Energy Performance Decree standard) to tertiary and industrial buildings; covenants to reduce N2O emissions from nitric acid production and caprolactam industry; reform of the road fund tax and the tax on entry into service of road vehicles (Ecoscore); the improvement and promotion of public transport and the promotion of bicycle use.

 

Brussels-Capital Region

Many measures to reduce the emissions coming from the residential and tertiary buildings - which are at the origin of approximately 70 % of the greenhouse gas emissions in Brussels -Capital Region - have been taken. In addition to the implementation of the directive 2002/91/CE on energy performance of buildings, these measures relate, for example, to the training of specialists in the energy management of buildings, creation of services of information and conceptual assistance for professionals and inhabitants (energy saving, renewable energies, cogeneration), the concept of tools aiding in decision-making regarding energy savings, calls for projects for exemplary buildings (eco-construction or energy), support of actions of energy management at the local level. Many financial incentives for the realisation of investments with regard to insulation, improvement of energy performances and development of renewable energies have also been developed.

The transport sector is also the object of many measures relating in particular to management of parking, development and implementation of transportation plans for companies and big events, development and promotion of public transport and other alternatives to the car or measures against the most polluting vehicles, etc. Partial internalisation of external costs of transport is also being studied together with the other two regions.

An integrated plan ’Energy-Air-climate 2010-2020‘ is currently under development.

 

Walloon Region

The Walloon Air-Climate plan was adopted by the Walloon Government on 15 March 2007. It contains a series of quantitative objectives and 104 actions for all sectors aiming to reduce air pollution and help in the fight against global warming for 2020. In January 2009, EUR236 million were dedicated to the implementation of certain measures of the Walloon Air-Climate plan. Most of the measures involve public authorities, the tertiary sector, land use management and transports. Some actions are aimed at the residential sector, agriculture, forestry, energy and industry, the latter having already achieved a great deal as part of branch agreements and the ’Emissions Trading’ system. The actions which have been defined are mainly geared towards: 1) research, technological innovation and studies of alternative solutions, 2) promotion of cleaner production and consumption (subsidies granted by the government of the Walloon Region for reducing energy consumption or using renewable energy, revision of the automobile tax system…), 3) information and awareness-raising among professionals and private individuals, 4) the example set by public authorities (transport, buildings management etc.), and 5) planning, management and evaluation of tools (insulation standards, sectoral conditions, emissions quotas etc.).

A study on adaptation to climate change is underway and the results will guide the development of the Walloon future plan for adaptation to climate change.

 

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