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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Belgium 2007

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Belgium 2007

This comprehensive review of Belgium's environmental policies and programmes examines the full range of issues including air and water management, nature and biodiversity management, climate change, sustainable development, environmental taxation, environmental policy, and international co-operation. It includes a statistical annex containing key environmental data.

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Environmental-Economic Interface

Belgium made progress over the review period in decoupling environmental pressures from economic growth for some conventional pollutants (e.g. SOx and NOx emissions) and for water abstractions. Growth in household waste for final disposal was also decoupled from economic growth due to high rates of recycling. Sustainable development institutions were developed at the federal level (Sustainable Development Law, establishment of a governmental committee and of a council for sustainable development, creation of a Secretary of State position for sustainable development). Two federal plans were adopted along the three pillars of sustainable development, together with evaluation and consultation procedures. Principles of sustainable development were also embodied in the regional environmental plans. The regional governments made some progress in integrating environmental concerns into agriculture (by augmenting support for agri-environmental measures). Climate change policy is moving ahead with the regional climate change plans and national burden-sharing agreement, and through a range of domestic measures, participation in the EU emission trading scheme and the Kyoto Protocol flexibility mechanisms.

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