"I am delighted with the European climate agreement. Now we need proactive implementation".
Today, the European Council agreed on raising Europe's climate ambitions. The collective European CO2 target for 2030 is raised to 55%: "An ambitious climate approach means new economic opportunities for our country. These are the jobs of the future".
Alexander De Croo: "After unanimous Belgian climate agreements earlier this week, there is now also an ambitious European climate agreement. Moreover, the increased climate ambitions will be implemented in an intelligent way, with a balanced distribution between the Member States".
For Belgium, the principle of cost-efficiency was important. This means that the CO2 reduction will first take place in sectors and countries where there is still a lot of room for improvement. The European Commission will further elaborate and take into account the specific national situations. There will also be feedback to the European Council in the spring.
Alexander De Croo: "Belgium wholeheartedly supports the stronger European climate ambitions. Our manufacturing industry has already made a great deal of effort in recent years to limit emissions. It is important that we have a European decision that takes this into account. We are not forgetting the people behind the measures. Energy prices must be affordable.”
In addition, Prime Minister De Croo stressed that Europe must play a leading role in the international climate debate and get buy-in from the other major trading blocs. The new climate ambition must strengthen Belgian and European competitiveness.
Alexander De Croo: "The sustainability revolution is also a technological revolution. An ambitious climate policy brings economic opportunities that we as Belgium must seize. Whether it's renewable energy, hydrogen technology or climate innovation, this is a unique opportunity for everyone in our country to be at the forefront of technology. This is about the jobs of the future. So let's not take an overly defensive approach.”