The government of Belgium published the final version of its National Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) on April 30th 2021. The European Commission has adopted a positive assessment of Belgium's recovery and resilience plan on June 23rd. Belgium is set to receive a total of €5.9 bn through the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). About 20% of this budget will be invested on the federal level, the remaining share will be distributed among federal entities. This report focuses primarily on the plan for the federal level, but provides some information on the plans by federal entities. Our analysis shows overall, that the investments envisaged by the plan can make a very positive contribution to the green transition. The final version of the plan is showing a significant improvement towards climate ambitions compared to the draft plan.
We find that all recovery measures across all federal entities reach a green spending share of 41%. According to the government, the plan’s climate spending share is 50%, which was approved by the European Commission. In contrast, 1% (€0,04bn) of all measures have a negative impact. Furthermore, we find that 14% (€0,84bn) may have a positive or negative impact on the green transition depending on the implementation of the relevant measures, illustrating the importance of further scrutiny during the planning, review and implementation of the recovery measures.
Our calculation of the green spending share aims to mirror the approach used for the official assessment of national recovery plans (find more information here).
The analysis was written by Sandrine Meyer, Prof. Marek Hudon (both Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Helena Mölter (Wuppertal Institute). We are grateful to Domien Vangenechten (E3G) and Jacqueline Klingen (Wuppertal Institute) for providing valuable inputs and for supporting the review process.
Belgium plans the development of offshore wind-energy by installing an interconnection hub between different European countries (the so called “Wind-energy Island in the North Sea”).
While Belgian nuclear power plants will probably close by 2025, there is insufficient investment in renewable energy production included in the plan, which may cause that (at least on the short term) the Belgian electricity production will increasingly rely on gas-fired power plants.
60% of the Belgian RRF budget is devoted to infrastructure (construction/renovation sector). Nevertheless, the sole Federal government project related to this issue concerns the renovation and transformation of one specific building: the former Brussels Stock Exchange building (Beurspaleis / Palais de la Bourse).