Home News Belgium’s greenhouse gas plans ‘unclear’

Belgium’s greenhouse gas plans ‘unclear’

Published on 17/09/2004

17 September 2004

BRUSSELS – The European Commission says Belgium’s plans for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions in line with EU agreements are unclear and it has asked for urgent clarifications.

The EU executive has given the Belgians until the end of the month to explain just how a complex proposed plan for trading carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would work in practice.

The Commission says the Belgian plan, which forms a key element in the country’s efforts to cut CO2 emissions, does not seem workable in its current form.

The institution stresses that it has not formally rejected the plan but that the Belgians need to demonstrate more clearly how it would function.

“This is not a fundamental rejection of the Belgian plan,” a well-placed source told the Belga news agency.

“But there are nevertheless a number of remarks Belgium will need to respond to,” the source added.

CO2 is produced when fossil fuels are burned, for example in factories or in car engines.

It is one of the main greenhouse gases thought to cause the problem of global warming.

Emissions trading schemes is an as yet untried concept that work by giving countries a quota of CO2 they can emit in a single year.

Inside countries this quota iwould be sold to companies that produce CO2.

A firm that did not use all of its quota could sell the remainder to a less eco-friendly competitor.

Companies that produce a great deal of CO2 could buy emissions credits on the world market, for example from firms in developing countries.

Critics have branded emissions trading, ‘buying the right to pollute.’

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news