This country is a member of the European Union, so data from the NDC submitted by the EU on behalf of its members is being displayed. For further information about the EU's NDC, legislation, and targets, please see the EU profile.

Special Act to reform the finance of the Communities and the Regions, the extension of the tax autonomy of the Regions and the finance of new competences ( 2014 )

The Act establishes a mechanism to incentivise climate action as part of the National Climate Strategy and contributes to reaching European and International objectives. It Is based on a multiannual reference trajectory for GHG emissions reduction in the residential and tertiary building sectors (excluding industrial buildings), specific for each region. A financial bonus is attributed…read more

Act on Biofuel Blending Obligation ( 2013 )

The Act provides for companies that sell petrol E5 or E10 or diesel oil to integrate in the fuel mix a volume of sustainable biofuels within one calendar year. The quota obligation applies to all registered oil companies offering petrol or diesel products for consumption. The providers of petrol E5 or E10 or diesel fuels…read more

Act-Programme (including the Creation of the Fund for General Reduction of Energy Costs) ( 2005 )

The Act-Programme establishes the ’Fund for general reduction of energy costs’ to support energy-saving measures adopted by the most vulnerable households. The Fund offers low-interest or 0% rate loans to finance energy efficiency measures for individual households (maximum EUR10,000 (USD12,549) /year/household). The poorest households that could qualify for support by the Fund are identified through…read more

Act on the Progressive Phase-out of Nuclear Energy from 2015 to 2025 ( 2003 )

The Act provides for the gradual phase-out of nuclear energy for commercial electricity production. It prohibits the con¬struction of new nuclear power plants and sets a 40-year limit on the operational pe¬riod of existing plants (most of which were constructed in 1974 or 1985 and would need to be decommissioned over the 2015-2025 period anyway).…read more

The Co-operation Agreement on the National Climate Plan and the National Climate Plan ( 2002 / Mitigation Framework )

The present co-operation agreement was the basis for the elaboration of the first National Climate Plan (2009-2012), as well as establishment of the National Climate Commission. The Plan offers a detailed description of all existing formally approved climate change related measures for each sector (energy, industry, transport…) and cross-cutting issues (awareness-raising, exemplary role of the…read more

Act on Organization of the Electricity Market ( 1999 )

The Act regulates organisation of the electricity market and contributes to meeting international commitments related to climate change. This is to be done in particular through promotion of renewable electricity generation, among others by providing federal feed-in tariffs, and organising a federal green certificate scheme. It defines the extensive competences of CREG (the Commission for…read more

Act on Coordination of Federal Policy on Sustainable Development ( 1997 )

The latest version of the Act on Co-ordination of Federal Policy on Sustainable Development calls for the development of a long-term vision for Sustainable Development that would include goals for 2050 and be based on interdepartmental and vertical co-operation among between the federal level and federated entities through the specifically created Interdepartmental Commission on Sustainable…read more

This country is a member of the European Union, so data from the NDC submitted by the EU on behalf of its members is being displayed. For further information about the EU's NDC, legislation, and targets, please see the EU profile.

Belgian National Adaptation Plan 2017-2020 ( 2016 )

This Plan completes and identifies specific ways of implementing the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy over the period 2017-2020. It mentions the impacts and vulnerabilities to Climate Change on the country, establishes adaptation planning at regional and federal level, national actions, and defines monitoring and implementation policies. The Plan details several measures to implement over…read more

National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy ( 2010 / Adaptation Framework )

The Strategy was developed by the Belgian National Climate Commission in response to the EU White Paper on Adaptation (2009) and the Belgian National Climate Plan (2009-2013). The three main objectives of the Strategy are: • improve the coherence of existing adaptation initiatives (evaluation of climate change impacts and vulnerability, existing measures) • improve communication…read more

Royal Decree on the Tax Regulation Mechanism and Excise Duty Exemptions for Rapeseed Oil Biofuels ( 2006 )

The Decree provides for the support of biofuels production through an excise duty exemption. The fuel from rapeseed oil produced by a physical or legal person that directly sells its production to the end consumer without intermediary can be exempted from excise duty. The exemption equals the excise rate of the fuel the rapeseed oil…read more

This country is a member of the EU and so EU NDC data is being displayed.

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

The European Union and its 28 Member States submitted a joint NDC: at least 40% domestic reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990

Source: NDC

Reductions in the ETS and non-ETS sectors amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 by 2030 against a 2005 baseline (collective EU target)

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

At least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

Reducing by 2050 GHG emissions by 80–95 % by 2050 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Decision N... (2013 / Legislative)

Maximum quantity of hydrofluorocarbons to be placed on the market and corresponding quotas by 2015, 2030

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fluorinate... (2014 / Legislative)

In 2020, the target is for the emissions from the ETS sectors to be 21% lower than in 2005

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Reduction of EU GHG emissions by at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Source(s):

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

An EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU by 2030

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

An indicative target at the EU level of at least 27% is set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption based on the current criteria by 2030 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

On 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive, including a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Energy distributors or retail energy sales companies have to achieve 1.5% energy savings per year through the implementation of energy efficiency measures by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, by improving energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Obligated energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies achieve a cumulative end-use energy savings target by 31 December 2020 at least equivalent 1.5% a year from 2014 to 2020 of the annual energy sales to final customers of all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies by volume, averaged over the most recent 3-year period prior to 2013 by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The Union’s 2020 energy consumption has to be no more than 1 474 Mtoe of primary energy or no more than 1 078 Mtoe of final energy by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

Union’s 2020 20% headline target on energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The biofuels and bio-liquids should contribute to a reduction of at least 35% of GHG emissions. From 2017, their share in emissions savings should be increased to 50% by 2020

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Biofuel GHG emissions must be >35% lower than the fossil fuel they are replacing by 2017, 2018 against a 2015 baseline

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2018 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Manufacturer's average emissions to be reduced yearly by 2014-2020 against a 2011 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Increasing aircraft fuel efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 20 to 30 % compared to ‘state-of-the-art’ aircraft entering into service as from 2014 by 2020

General | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reduce CO2 emissions by 50% and NOx by 80% by 2020 against a 2007 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reducing the GHG intensity of fuels used in vehicles for transportation by 10% by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

General | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 95 g CO2/km as average emissions for the new car fleet, in accordance with Article 13(5) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Emission p... (2009 / Legislative)

At least 10% share of renewables in final energy consumption in the transportation sector by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 147 gCO2/km for the average emissions of new light commercial vehicles registered in the Union subject to confirmation of its feasibility, as specified in Article 13(1) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

The specific emissions of CO2 of each light commercial vehicle which is designed to be capable of running on a mixture of petrol with 85% bioethanol (‘E85’), and which complies with relevant Union legislation or European technical standards, shall be reduced by 5% by 2015

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

GHG emission reductions in buildings in the residential and tertiary sectors per region by 2030 against a 2015 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Special Ac... (2014 / Legislative)

Every year, governments in EU countries must carry out energy efficient renovations on at least 3% (by floor area) of the buildings they own and occupy by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Belgium ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. It submitted its first National Communication to the UNFCCC in 1997 and its 5th communication in 2014. The next communication to the UNFCCC is being prepared. For the second commitment period (2012-2020), Belgium has committed to the joint EU “20-20-20” targets of the “climate and energy package”. It is required to reduce its GHG emissions from non-ETS sectors by 15% by 2020 (base year 2005), source 13% of its non-ETS sectors final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, and improve energy efficiency.

The ‘Belgian Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment’, together with the Federal Public Service Economy and Finance, are responsible for preparation and monitoring of federal environmental and climate change policies, such as product efficiency, large energy infrastructures and planning of gas and electricity networks, energy pricing and taxation, nuclear energy and off-shore wind power, national airports and railways, taxation of vehicles and motor fuels, and technical vehicle standards. The Inter-ministerial Conference for Environment and the Committee for Co-ordination of the International Environmental Policy are in charge of co-ordination and preparation of climate change related matters within broader environmental policy and Belgian representation in relevant international institutions. The National Commission for Climate has a permanent Secretariat and is composed of representatives of the federal Government and the three regions. It is responsible for preparing and implementing national climate change policy and reporting to the EU and international institutions, as well as approval of projects for the Kyoto Protocol Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanisms. Other bodies are responsible for preparation of regional and national GHG inventories or co-ordinate energy-related matters (e.g. the Interregional Environmental Agency).

Climate change policy has been consolidated in the National Climate Plan (2009-2012). Since 2013, the National Climate Commission has been engaged in extending this Plan until 2020. The process has been slowed down by the lack of agreement among the regions and the National government on burden-sharing of non-ETS targets for 2013–2020 and determination of the share of renewables per region. The climate policies of the different authorities focus on six sectoral strategic priorities: optimisation of energy production, rational use of energy in buildings, increased efficiency in industrial processes, developing sustainable modes of transport, fostering sustainable management of agriculture and forests and strengthening efforts in waste management. There are also additional, cross-cutting priorities, including support for research and development, education, awareness-raising and training of various target groups, implementation of flexibility mechanisms (CDM, JI), and integration of climate matters into development aid policy.

Sub-national activity

Most climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives have been undertaken at the regional level. The regions have each adopted particular climate policy plans or strategies, as well as other specific legislation. The Flemish government adopted the Flemish 2013-2020 Climate Policy Plan (2013), including mitigation and adaptation plans. The Plan contains concrete measures for 2013-2020 in the non-ETS sectors (provisional target of 15% emissions reduction), in particular for transport and building sectors, the most GHG-intensive non-ETS sectors in Flanders. The Walloon Parliament adopted the Climate Decree (2014), which should enable Wallonia to meet its commitments to cut GHG emissions (ETS and non-ETS) by 30% by 2020 and by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The Brussels Code for Air, Climate and Energy (2013) contains measures regarding energy efficiency, renewables, sustainable transport, air quality and climate. It should help the Brussels region to reach the target of 30% GHG emissions reduction by 2025. The federal authority and the regions also participate in climate-related research on different levels, including international co-operation (e.g. a joint project with Burundi on the exploitation of observations from climate research).

Energy supply

The main energy policy priorities include reorganising the gas and electricity market to encourage increased competition and transparency, phasing out nuclear energy by 2025, climate change mitigation, ensuring security of supply, and diversification of energy sources. Responsibility for energy is divided between the national government and the regions. Measures to promote renewable energy sources are mainly taken at the regional level. The federal Government is mainly responsible for regulation and development of off-shore renewable energy – mainly wind facilities in the North Sea. Seven concession zones have been defined and the first installations (so far in one zone only) are expected to be completed in 2015. They should reach total capacity of around 2 TWh (2.5% of electricity production). Belgium is also considering building an artificial island in its territorial coastal zone that would allow production of pumped-storage electricity to solve the problem of intermittency of renewables.

In response to EU requirements, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan proposed measures to achieve a 13% share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2020 (from around 7% today). The Commission for Regulation of Electricity and Gas monitors the functioning of the electricity market and approves transmission and distribution tariffs for use of the grid.

The two key climate policy tools to promote renewable and high-efficiency electricity generation are the ETS mechanism and green certification schemes. They are supplemented by financial support schemes (subsidies, grants and tax reliefs). The federal support system issues green certificates for offshore wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal energy, and some solar power installations. Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital each have a green certificate system to support development of renewable energy sources. 

Energy demand

Energy intensity has declined since 1990 by around 1% per year. In 2011, buildings were the leading end-consumer of primary energy (33.7%), followed by industry (30.9%) and transport (20.7%). Since 2013, Belgium has adopted an indicative energy efficiency target for 2020: 18% reduction of primary energy compared to reference scenarios, converted into a final consumption target of 32.5 Mtoe by 2020.

On the national level, measures to support energy efficiency are listed in the 3rd National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2014) elaborated in line with EU requirements. The federal measures include organisation of consumer information programmes, implementation of the EU ‘Eco-design’ and ‘Energy labelling’ directives, and creation of buildings standards. However, federal support for energy efficiency (tax reductions for low-/zero-energy houses, green loans) has been reduced over 2012-2013, as responsibility for energy savings has shifted to the regions. The latter have introduced buildings standards, appliances certificates, and agreements with industry sectors on energy efficiency improvement and GHG emissions reductions. The Flemish government adopted the Energy Renovation Programme 2020, aiming to ensure that all existing homes have insulated roofs, double glazing and new efficient boilers by 2020. In 2012, the Walloon Region launched “Ecopack” interest-free loans and energy subsidies to stimulate energy efficiency upgrades in housing. The Brussels-Capital Region provides subsidies called Energy Bonus 2013 for residential, industrial and service sector buildings.

Carbon pricing

The EU ETS, introduced in 2005, is Belgium’s main carbon pricing initiative. The profits resulting from the auctioned EAUs within the EU ETS mechanism are to be reinvested in measures aimed at further cutting GHG emissions, modernising production and grid infrastructure, and developing clean technologies.

Energy taxation rates are among the lowest in the EU. In 2010, revenues from energy taxes in terms of GDP reached just 1.3%. A national excise tax on fossil fuels (excluding natural gas and electricity) was introduced in 2004 for firms without environmental objectives agreements, leading to almost all industry sectors concluding such an agreement.  Since 2008 a levy has been applied to the production of nuclear power.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Approximately 22% of Belgium is covered with forests, mainly in the Walloon region. Reforestation and forest conservation are encouraged through general forestry legislation, primarily at the regional level. The Forest Code, which dates back to 1854, is now also regionalised. Belgium also contributes financially to REDD+ projects directly or through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and participates in various forest certifications schemes. Additional climate change-related measures are being carried out in the agriculture sector, focusing on reducing GHG emissions mainly through decreasing production (livestock) and improving agricultural practices (waste recovery, combating soil degradation, etc.).

Transportation

Belgium is a transit and export-oriented economy, with a constantly growing transport sector (GHG emissions up by over 30% between 1990 and 2011). Federal and regional initiatives mainly focus on shifting road traffic growth towards rail or waterways and improving public transport provision, promoting car-sharing and upgrading infrastructure. Drivers are also encouraged to use low-energy vehicles (information, tax incentives) and use them in moderation (eco-driving). The transport sector was formerly under federal competency but most responsibilities have been transferred to the regional level since 2011. Federal green car support granting a 3-15% sales price equivalent reduction were abolished in 2012 and tax deductions for investment in electric cars were phased out by the end of 2010. There is still a federal quota for 9% annual sale of bio-ethanol and 6% annual sale of biodiesel for providers of petrol and diesel, and tax deductions for companies with low fuel consuming car fleet. The regions have adopted several measures to decrease GHG emission from transport, such as the Walloon and Flemish car registration tax reflecting CO2 emissions or the country-wide distance-based toll system for vehicles above 3.5 tonnes (expected to become operational after 2016).

Adaptation

The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy has been in place since 2010 and a National Adaptation Plan based on the Strategy is being developed. The Strategy reflects the increasing vulnerability to climate change, especially in coastal zones, river flood prone areas and urban areas. On the regional level, Flanders has an adaptation strategy within its Climate Policy Plan 2013-2020 and working groups on adaptation strategies have been established in the other regions, as well as at the federal level. A number of research programmes have been launched to improve the understanding of the effects of climate change, such as the Inter-regional project ‘Future cities’. Climate change considerations have also been mainstreamed into different plans, programmes and projects, such as spatial planning (CCASPAR), marine spatial plan, water purification management plans and studies (‘AMICE’ project), rural development (GISER unit), Brussels transport plan, the winter/summer plan of the railways, Master Plan for Coastal Safety, and the National Environmental Health Action Plan.

VZW Klimaatzaak v. Kingdom of Belgium, et al. (Court of First Instance, Brussels, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [no citation available]
Jurisdiction: Belgium
Core objective(s): Seeking to force federal and regional governments to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Current status: open

Similar to the Urgenda case in the Netherlands, the Klimaatzaak -- "climate case" -- was brought by an organization of concerned citizens arguing that Belgian law requires the Belgian government's approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to be more aggressive. Specifically, they call for reductions of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 87.5% below…read more

The Kingdom of Belgium is a federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. The national government was created through the 1993 revision of the 1831 Constitution, which has been amended several times, most recently in May 2014. The national government is composed of three Communities (Flemish, French and German-speaking) and three Regions (Flemish, Walloon and Brussels-Capital), each with its own executive and legislative bodies. The Parliament, jointly with the King who heads the federal executive, have the right of legislative initiative. The Constitutional Court is the highest judicial body. On the federal level, the bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate representing the federated entities (60 seats; 50 senators from federated entities, 10 co-opted; elected for a five-year term) and a House of Representatives representing the citizens (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote for a five-year term; proportional representation). The last federal election was held on 25 May 2014, and the next is scheduled for 2019.

The Constitution is the highest-ranking legal norm, followed by, in descending order, federal Special Acts (which require special majority and organize division of powers and operational rules of public institutions); federal Acts and federated entities’ Decrees and Ordinances (the legal value of the latter being restricted to the territorial boundaries of the concerned region); and royal, government and ministerial orders implementing the Acts or Decrees. In addition, an ‘Agreement on Co-operation’ can be adopted among the federated entities and the national government, and is often used in climate change policy in cases where actions need to be co-ordinated at the national level. A draft Act is voted in plenary session of one or both of the Parliament Chambers depending on its content. It is then transmitted to the King, who gives his assent and promulgates the Act after countersignature by the relevant Minister. The Act generally takes effect the 10th day after publication in the official Gazette.

Last modified 23 August, 2017