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The European environment – state and outlook 2010

The European environment – state and outlook 2010

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Country profile - Future developments (SOER 2010)

Evolution of demography, consumption, energy and transport in Belgium

Key message

A general growth in population with an increased share of elderly people is foreseen. Energy and transport sector keep on exerting high environmental pressures as well as other consumption patterns.

Demographics ...

The foreseen demographic changes are characterised by a general growth in population (around 11 % between 2010 and 2030). The share of people aged 65 years and over will increase from 17 % in 2010 to 23 % in 20301. This projected trend is about the same in the Flemish and the Walloon Regions. However, in the Brussels-Capital Region this increase will be weaker, from 14 % in 2010 to 16 % in 2030, because of a higher birth rate. Another important foreseen development is the growing number of households in the population. They will influence the urbanisation patterns and will go with new types of consumption that might have negative effects on the environment. Regarding economic forecasts, the length of the financial crisis remains uncertain, as well as the social and environmental side effects. The likely decrease in environmental pressures due to the current negative economic growth rates will nevertheless not contribute to sustainable development.

At the sectoral level, under baseline assumptions, the energy and transport sectors will keep on exerting high environmental pressures: regarding energy2, national requirements for coal and natural gas will increase between 2000 and 2030. The surge in renewable energy sources (RES) is noticeable (4.2 % on average per annum). Final energy demand will increase by 10 % during the period 2000-2030; however, this scenario, carried out in 2007, does not take into account new elements such as the adoption of the package ‘Energy-climate’ at the European level and the delay of the phasing out of three nuclear power plants

  • regarding transport3, according to four reference scenarios, passenger transport is projected to increase between 2005 and 2030, with a growth rate estimated between 22 % and 30 % depending on the reference scenario. The growth of passenger transport is dominated by private cars. The freight transport also rises in the four reference scenarios. Trucks and heavy goods vehicles remain the main mode of freight transport in 2030.

Our food consumption is also expected to contribute to future environmental pressures within Belgium and at the global level but no baseline scenarios have been developed for food.

As a feedback loop, climate change caused by our unsustainable consumption and production patterns might also have severe impacts on the environment with the foreseen increase in the number of extreme climate events, such as storms, floods and droughts4.

 


1 Bureau fédéral du Plan (2008). Perspectives de population 2007-2060. Planning paper 105. Mai 2008.

2 D. Devogelaer en D. Gusbin (2007), Energievooruitzichten voor België tegen 2030 in een tijdperk van klimaatverandering, Perspectives énergétiques pour la Belgique à l’horizon 2030 dans un contexte de changement climatique, Planning Paper 102. Bureau fédéral du Plan.

3 Hoornaert B. Vervoermemissies. Historische evolutie en vooruitzichten. WP 8-09. Bureau fédéral du Plan. http://www.plan.be/admin/uploaded/200907161021330.wp200908.pdf

4 European Commission (2009). Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament 2008 Environment Policy Review. 11505/09. http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st11/st11505.en09.pdf

Main policy plans at the federal level

Key message

Policy plans exist at the different political levels in Belgium

Federal level:

Policy declaration of the federal Government – 13 October 2009

Federal Plan for Sustainable Development 2004-2008: second Federal Plan for sustainable development established within the context of the Federal strategy for sustainable development established by the Bill on the co-ordination of the federal policy on sustainable development (SD) of May 5th 1997.

 

Main policy plan of the Flemish Region in Belgium

Key message

Policy plans exist at the different political levels in Belgium

Flanders:

Flanders in Action: Flanders is looking forward to 2020. In that year, it wants to assume a leading position among the best performing European regions. For that reason, Flanders in Action anno 2008 is focused on five breakthrough actions:

The open entrepreneur
The learning Fleming
Smart logistics for Europe
Medical Centre Flanders
Green City Region

 

 

Main policy plan of the Walloon region of Belgium

Key message

Policy plans exist at the different political levels in Belgium

Wallonia:

Plan Marshall 2.vert: Strategic development plan for Wallonia

 

Main policy plans of the Brussels region of Belgium

Key message

Policy plans exist at the different political levels in Belgium

Brussels:

Plan régional de développement (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale)Gewestelijke ontwikkelingsplan (Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest): regional development plan, strategic plan which lays down the objectives and the priorities of development of the Brussels-Capital Region

Plan international de développement (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale)Plan voor de internationale ontwikkeling van Brussel (Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest) : international development plan, development project for the Brussels-Capital Region which is articulated around the international vocation of the city

Contrat Economie-emploi (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale) Contract Economie-tewerkstelling (Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest): contract economy-employment, joint actions aiming the economic redeployment of the Brussels-Capital Region

Plan régional des déplacements (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale) – Gewestelijk vervoersplan (Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest): Brussels Mobility Plan

Plans environnementaux (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale) – Milieuplannen (Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest): Environment Plan of the Brussels-Capital Region

 

Strategic forward looking exercise at the Belgian federal level

Key message

Strategic forward looking exercises exist at several political levels

Federal level:

Fourth Federal Report on sustainable Development ‘Accelerating the transition towards sustainable development’: presentation of two long-term (2050) sustainable development scenarios . The Federal reports on sustainable development are established within the context of the federal strategy for sustainable development established by the Bill on the co-ordination of the federal policy on sustainable development (SD) of May 5th 1997.

 

Strategic forward looking exercise at the level of the Flemish Region of Belgium

Key message

Strategic forward looking exercises exist at several political levels

The Flemish Region:

MIRA-S: Milieuverkenning 2030 (Dutch): Future environmental scenarios

NARA-S: Natuurverkenning 2030 (Dutch): Future nature scenarios