The European Union achieved and exceeded all climate targets by 2020. This is reflected in a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). However, Belgium is one of the worst performers in the EU class.
By 2020, the EU wanted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990, increase the share of renewable energy by 20% and improve energy efficiency by 20%. These targets have been met and even exceeded, according to the EEA research report, which compared the figures for the year 2019 with forecasts for 2020.
Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 30 % compared to 1990. Between 2019 and 2020, these emissions decreased by 10 %. An explanatory factor is the coronavirus pandemic, but the ‘impact of the pandemic is uncertain compared to the climate initiatives that countries are taking’, the report states. Between 2018 and 2019, there was a 4% reduction in emissions. It is estimated that renewable energy accounts for 21.3% of total energy consumption in the EU. The limitations of the coronavirus crisis have also given a noticeable boost to improved energy efficiency, the EEA says.
Belgium scores poorly
Belgium achieved only one target by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 % compared to 1990. In terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency, our country still has a lot to catch up on.
“All countries have managed to reach at least one of the 2020 targets, although 2 countries appear to have underperformed two of the 3 2020 targets,” says EEA. The organization pointed to Belgium and Bulgaria.
The EU now aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. According to the EEA, the current policy would result in only 41%. However, these forecasts have not yet been taken into account in the Fit for 55 package of the European Commission. This would enable the 27 member states to step up their efforts to combat climate change through new measures.