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N-VA wants a climate policy that focuses on prosperity and competitiveness
“The ambitions of the European Climate Act are sky-high, but not very realistic and insufficiently quantified.” MEP Johan van Overtveldt is calling for more realism and nuance in the debate. “Even if you support the overall objective, but still raise a few questions, you undoubtedly risk being dismissed as a climate denier.”
In December 2019, the European Commission presented its “Green Deal.” The central idea is that the EU must become climate neutral by 2050. “The N-VA supports the goal of climate neutrality at EU level by 2050,” Johan Van Overtveldt emphasises. “Europe may and can play a pioneering role towards a sustainable, innovative transition. In this way, investors also know where they stand.”
Every Member State climate neutral
However, the European Parliament wants to go a few steps further than the European Commission.
For example, Parliament wants not only the EU as a whole but also every Member State to be climate neutral by 2050. This ignores the diversity between the Member States and the federal states. Flanders, for example, is a small and densely populated region with important energy-intensive industrial clusters.
The European Parliament is losing out on a bid for targets
In addition, there is the raising of climate targets for 2030. In 2014, the European Council decided that the EU would reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030. If all decisions are implemented, the EU will achieve a de facto 45% reduction in emissions. The new European Commission wants to do more, and believes that at least 55% by 2030 is achievable. This will require additional annual investments of 350 billion euros over the next 10 years. In fact, the parliamentary committee also wants to go one step further, with a 60% reduction in emissions. It remains to be seen whether this ambition will hold up in the vote.
According to Johan Van Overtveldt, the European Parliament is losing itself in a bid for targets. “That worries me, because the financial and social costs could become considerable. Moreover, there is no impact assessment at Member State level whatsoever. It is therefore expected that we will begin this trip by feeling our way around and with a rickety compass.”
Disastrous for the climate, the economy and citizens
The European Parliament also sees the energy system as based on renewable energy. Not realistic, Johan Van Overtveldt believes. “I’m all for renewable energy, but a climate neutral Europe without nuclear energy is a mirage. The fact that the purple-green government is willing to go along with raising the ambitions for 2030 without any problems, the target of also becoming a climate neutral Member State, while at the same time severely restricting the possibilities of achieving these objectives through the nuclear phase-out, is problematic and disastrous for the climate, the economy and citizens.”
Debate without taboos
“We are opting for a policy that focuses on prosperity and. We are calling for a debate without taboos, and in which citizens are also offered clarity about the green invoice.”