The integration of environment and climate objectives is enshrined in the Belgian Law on Development Co-operation. Environment and climate are identified in this law as crosscutting issues that must be incorporated throughout all development co-operation.

This approach to support resilience of vulnerable communities in developing countries against shocks such as climate change and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is also reflected in the recently issued Policy Note of Meryame Ktir, Minister for Development Co-operation and Major Cities Policy in the current government.

The Directorate-General for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD) tracks progress on its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets, including the targets on SDG 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Belgium requests its implementing partners to indicate how their projects and programmes contribute to these targets.

With regard to climate finance, Belgium sets the target of a contribution of EUR 50 million annually until 2020. Currently, discussions between the different entities competent on climate policy for new target setting for the post-2020 period are ongoing. The Minister for Development Co-operation of the Federal Government has expressed the intention to contribute to the Belgian effort with an annual contribution of EUR 100 million.

An environmental strategy for the Belgian development co-operation was published in 2014. Based on this, the DGD developed a “Climate Vision” in 2018. Belgian international climate finance is currently being evaluated and this evaluation will provide lessons learned to further improve implementation of both strategies. Belgian climate finance focuses on climate change adaptation and least-developed countries in Africa.

With regard to specific channels, Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, and BIO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, have specific strategies on climate:

In the spirit of its environmental strategy, Belgian development co-operation will continue to develop its contribution to the fight against climate change via a three-way approach:

  • The Belgian Development Co-operation works towards incorporating climate and environmental concerns and opportunities in the full project cycle of the programmes and projects it finances, and which are implemented by a wide range of partners.

  • Specific climate action, mainly with multilateral partners. In this regard, a number of specific budget lines were created in the development co-operation budget. In the lead-up to 2020, Belgian development co-operation plans to gradually increase this expenditure after 2020.

  • Ensuring policy coherence with regard to climate, environment and development.

All programmes and projects that are submitted to the DGD for funding are screened on how they contribute to climate and environment objectives (mandatory by law). A tool to support this was developed by the research platform KLIMOS. Use of the tool, however, is not mandatory; other suitable tools may be used as well.

For implementation of a Belgian climate and environment policy in development co-operation, it is vital that the integration of climate and environment into the programmes and projects of Belgian actors is also reflected in the result frameworks submitted. To this end, within the broader results framework a link is made to the SDGs. Efforts will continue to be made to identify and develop the most relevant result indicators for climate.

The results frameworks of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Least Developed Countries Fund and Green Climate Fund (all supported by Belgian Development Co-operation) contain a number of specific indicators for climate actions which, where relevant, can also be used to monitor the programmes of Belgian actors.

Some examples include:

  • For mitigation: Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent avoided or reduced; greenhouse gases removed by sinks; number of households and individuals (disaggregated for gender) with improved access to low-carbon energy sources; megawatts of installed capacity of renewable energy (new or rehabilitated); hectares of land or forests under improved protection and management if this leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved carbon storage; and with respect for social and environmental standards, number of legislative measures that have been adapted or introduced to facilitate or encourage mitigation.

  • For adaptation: Number of direct and indirect beneficiaries (percentage in relation to total population) of adaptation measures; number of physical assets that have been built or modified to increase their resilience to climate variability and climate change; value of the investments in these physical assets; number of people with access to improved services for climate information, or early warning systems for climate-related disasters; and regulatory measures taken to handle new requirements more effectively, due to new and future climate conditions.

At different levels, a policy dialogue with developing country partners is conducted to prepare and support programmes and projects to be funded by the Belgian Development Co-operation.

This can be done at the national or sub-national level for programmes to be implemented by Enabel, but Belgian Development Co-operation civil society partners also have a broad network of civil society partners in developing countries who are included from the start in the preparation process of funded programmes to ensure local ownership and alignment with national plans.

Belgium is an active member of the NDC Partnership, through which it supports the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in partner countries. To support the Partnership, Belgium has funded several climate facilitators, advisors and experts in African countries. The additional climate finance provided by the federal government will be used to upscale this effort.

Belgium is also a long-standing supporter of the Least Developed Countries Fund, which was founded to support development and implementation of National Adaption Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

As highlighted in Belgium’s Fourth Biennial Report on Climate Change under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, the provision of financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing countries primarily focused on:

  • predominantly adaptation and crosscutting activities

  • provision of bilateral and multilateral support in the form of grants

  • contributions mainly directed towards Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

  • contributions to climate-specific multilateral funds (Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund, etc.) or specialised United Nations (UN) agencies.

In parallel to its long-standing provision of public climate finance to developing countries, Belgium also supports the efforts of developing countries to implement low-emissions, climate-resilient projects and programmes by:

  • providing significant core funding to multilateral organisations

  • mobilising, via public resources, private investments for climate-related projects in developing countries.

Belgium did not report activities in this area.

Belgium did not report activities in this area.

The support of the Belgian Development Co-operation for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is mainly channelled through multilateral funds such as the GEF, the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund.

Belgium is one of the countries calling for action in 2021 to save the global ocean in the face of climate change and other threats. These countries, known as the “Blue Leaders”, are committed to securing a new international target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean through a global network of highly and fully protected marine areas by 2030 (“30x30”) and the successful negotiation of a strong new UN High Seas Treaty.

Belgium did not report activities in this area.

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