16 February 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgium has no chance of meeting its international commitments on climate change if it does not make drastic cuts in CO2 emissions.
New figures show that Belgium is way off target for meeting its goals on the Kyoto climate change treaty that entered into force on Wednesday.
Under the Treaty, which aims to cut emissions of harmful gasses, Belgium needs to reduce CO2 emissions by 7.5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 at the latest.
In 1990, Belgian levels stood at 146.42 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, and have risen since that time, even reaching 150.31 million tonnes in 2002.
Levels are expected to be an average of 135.27 million tonnes between 2008 and 2012, knocking Belgian off its Kyoto targets by 8.9 percent.
Belgium’s difficulties have been compounded by differences between the federal and regional targets.
While Wallonia needs to reduce its emission by 7.5 percent, Flanders has to cut down by 5.2 percent and Brussels can, in fact, increase its emissions by 3.47 percent.
The federal government has already introduced a series of measures to assist the country to make the cuts.
However, there is little sign of optimism, with the Belgian government already talking of using the Treaty’s ‘flexibility mechanism’ in a bid to meet targets.
Environment Minister Bruno Tobback has admitted the government aims to use this mechanism to meet half of its commitments.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news