Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Belgium.
Belgium has shown its willingness to mitigate the climate crisis through various plans and commitments.
In September 2019, the Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, said that he would ask the Federal Parliament for permission to double the amount Belgium contributes to the UN’s Green Climate Fund. Currently Belgium’s Federal Government contributes 10 million euro per year. In addition to the 50 million euro contributed to the fund by the federal government over the past 5 years, Belgium’s regions have also contributed 35 million euro, a prime example of the country’s commitment to mitigating the climate crisis.
However, because Belgium is a federal state composed of three communities (the Flemish, French and German-speaking communities) and three regions (the Flemish Region, Walloon Region and Brussels-Capital Region), it has varying levels of competency between the different levels of authorities, which requires close coordination but can lead to fragmentation. There are calls to adopt a federal climate law that would set a long-term goal for the country as a whole to free the regions from permanent negotiation, as well as to create an independent body with a budget to produce data and opinions, as well as external audits to remove the climate issues from political discussions alone.
- In December 2018, Belgium adopted the first version of its National Energy & Climate Plan, a compilation of three individual climate plans from each of Belgium’s regions. The plan contains measures aiming to reduce CO2 emissions in Belgium by 35% by 2030 and increase the share of renewable energy to 18.3%.
- On a regional level, in the Walloon Region, the GHG reduction target is 30% by 2020 and 80-95% by 2050. The plan also indicates the instruments to be implemented to achieve these objectives, including the Air Climate Energy Plan.
- In the Brussels- Capital region, the objective is to reduce its emissions by 32% by 2030.
- In the Flemish region, the objective is to reduce GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and by 80 to 95% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels.
You might also like: Global Emissions (2016)
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.