Foreword

The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • helping individual governments assess progress in achieving their environmental goals

  • promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning

  • stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This report reviews the environmental performance of Belgium since the previous review in 2007. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the country’s environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of Belgium’s historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is indebted to the government of Belgium for its co-operation in providing information, for the organisation of the virtual review mission (10-12 June 2020), and for facilitating contacts both inside and outside government institutions.

Thanks are also due to the representatives of the two examining countries, Thomas Pedersen (Denmark) and Jurgita Gaižiūnienė (Lithuania).

The authors of this report were, Gérard Bonnis, Eugene Mazur, Sarah Miet, Frédérique Zegel (OECD Environment Directorate) and Tony Zamparutti (consultant), under the co-ordination of Frédérique Zegel. Nathalie Girouard and Frédérique Zegel provided oversight and guidance. Carla Bertuzzi and Sarah Miet provided statistical support, Annette Hardcastle and Shellie Phillips provided administrative support and Mark Foss copy-edited the report. Natasha Cline-Thomas provided communications support. Preparation of this report also benefited from inputs and comments from several members of the OECD Secretariat, including Müge Adalet McGowan, Aimee Aguilar Jaber, Brilé Anderson, Nils Axel Braathen, Tomasz Kozluk and Kurt van Dender, as well as Divya Reddy of the International Energy Agency.

The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the draft Environmental Performance Review of Belgium at its meeting on 8 December 2020 and approved the Assessment and Recommendations.

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