New lawsuit against Belgium for not implementing climate protection policies

Belgian Government / Photo: Archive

The non-profit organization "Climate Action" and over 70.000 people have launched a new lawsuit against Belgium asking the Court to impose on the state the implementation of mandatory measures to reduce emissions of gases that cause the greenhouse effect.

The Court of Justice in Brussels ruled in June 2021, after a six-year trial following a previous lawsuit, that the climate protection policies of the Belgian Federal and the three regional governments – of Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders, are “grossly insufficient” and that they do not respect their obligations in this sphere, thereby "violating the basic rights of the plaintiffs".

But, as the "Soar" newspaper reported, according to the petitioners of the new lawsuit, even after two years, the four governments are largely ignoring the judgment of the Brussels Court and are not taking sufficient measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The plaintiffs are demanding that the state commit to reducing emissions of these gases on Belgian territory by 42 to 48 percent by 2025 and by 55 to 65 percent by 2030, compared to their 1990 levels.

In addition, a fine of one million euros is requested for the State of Belgium for each month of delay in the implementation of the judgment in this lawsuit.

Climate Action's lawyer, Audrey Beyens, said they are asking the Court to set a specific goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 61 percent by 2030.

- This 61 percent is the smallest minimum that all experts agree on. No less is possible. Any reduction below this percentage will be insufficient, Bayens said.

The European Council has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, as well as achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

However, according to the estimates of the European Environment Agency, the EU will not succeed in achieving the set goal by 2030 and that with the current measures and policies, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this decade will be 41 percent.

Some of the EU member states have set more ambitious targets for reducing their emissions of harmful gases, such as Germany which has predicted a reduction of 65 percent or Denmark for 70 percent by 2030.

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