Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Flemish Climate Policy

In Belgium, we have three official languages and this has a lot of implications for politics. The federal government is quite weak for the governements of the different language communities have gained ever more power during the last 30 years.

The result is that the Flemish community (my part) is also having it's own local climate-policy. The 2006-2012 plan can be found here (in English).

A march 2007 evalution of this plan can be found here (Dutch only). It gives a nice overview of the different (often very small) actions the government wants to take to reduce emissions. A december 2007 follow up can be found here

Flanders of course does look further than 2012 : A technical study (in Dutch) (the economical still to follow) to be used as a science-based realistic starting ground to develop a post-2012 scenario. The study, making prognosis until 2020 & 2030) uses 5 BAU-scenario's, differing in economic growth, energy prices & CO2-prices.

The spreading in CO2 emissions of course differs per scenario : a 5% difference by 2020, but a 16% difference between different scenarios by 2030.

In Flanders, at the moment already we have a CO2-trading market which controls emissions. The 2008-2012 plan can be found here (Dutch only !) Towards the end of the file you can see the emission rights PER COMPANY, which i think is pretty cool.

I have the feeling the main conclusion of Flemish politics on climate change is a lot of good will, but a lack of ambition. Wich actually defines the flemish people :-)

Belgium's greenhouse gasses emissions

Guess this post is something for the freaks, but who's interested can find Belgium's latest (march 2008) greenhouse gas inventory (1990-2006) here (pdf).
note : there ONLY exists an English version.

Maybe better suited for a broader audience is the brochure accompanying the 2007 version of the inventory and the predictions for further emissions.
To demonstrate why we are the country of surrealism, of this paper there is NO English version

In het Nederlands
En Français.

The overview of the evolution of GHG-emissions for all EU-members can be found here

The graph below shows the evolution of the emissions (including land change) in the period 1990-2005 for all countries belonging to the UN climate threaty (starting page here).

Overall, the Belgian emissions have decreased in last years, but there are exceptions, the most important ones being traffic & building (both residential as industrial).

Belgium will probably reach it's Kyoto-targets, but does buy some emission rights (if i'm correct some 12.3 million tuns in the period 2008-2012) ) to be absolutaly sure it will reach it's goal.

Yet the prognosis is that by 2020 Belgium's emissions of greenhouse gasses actually will be higher than today.

This predicted rise is a result of the fact the Belgian government decided to shut down all nuclear reactors within a couple of years (2015 - 2025). This decision was taken to please the Green party, then belonging to government, but is still controversial.

More and more voices are asking to abolish this decision, but no political party has put it high on the agenda (yet). Personally, i think it's unlikely all reactors with shut down : 55% of our energy is nuclear and very little has be done to find alternative sources of energy.

For officially all reactors will shut down, all official scenarios for the future also foresee the closure. Which explains why the prognosis is our GHG-emissions will rise.

Because of this, Belgium is looking what to do after 2012, and a 250p. draft with the analysis of different 2020-2050 scenarios for emission-reduction can be found here (in English, in het Nederlands, en Français)