Greenhouse gas emissions (i62)

  •  11/04/2023
  • objective 
  •  assessment 

In 2021, greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 106.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease by 55% between 1990 and 2030. The projections of the National Energy-Climate Plan 2021-2030 of Belgium indicate that this objective will not be reached (data available in April 2023). Greenhouse gas emissions are therefore developing unfavourably.

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Greenhouse gas emissions - Belgium - trend assessment

million tonnes CO2 equivalent

projection (April 2023)------------111.6110.1
objective 203064.364.364.364.364.364.364.364.3

National Climate Commission (2023), National greenhouse gas inventories, (consulted on 20/03/2023); FPB calculations.

Greenhouse gas emissions - Belgium

million tonnes CO2 equivalent

//: Average Growth Rates

National Climate Commission (2023), National greenhouse gas inventories, (consulted on 20/03/2023).

Greenhouse gas emissions - Belgium and international comparison

tonnes CO2 equivalent per capita

//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2023), Greenhouse gases emissions (source EEA) [sdg_13_10], National Climate Commission (2023), National greenhouse gas inventories,, and Eurostat (2023) Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level, demo_gind3, (consulted on 20/03/2023); calculations FPB.

Greenhouse gas emissions by region - Belgium

tonnes CO2 equivalent per capita

Brussels-Capital Region4.
Flemish Region15.015.315.113.912.112.010.511.0-1.0-1.7
Walloon Region16.615.714.311.810.
//: Average Growth Rates

IRCEL/CELINE (2023), Direct communication (22/03/2023).

Definition: the net greenhouse gas emissions measure the total net emissions on the Belgian territory. Emissions from international aviation and sea transport are excluded. The considered greenhouse gases are those from the Kyoto protocol (UNFCCC, 1997): carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and fluorinated gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3) that are not included in the Montreal Protocol (UNEP, 1987). Emissions are net emissions: the emissions and absorption of the LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) sector, such as the CO2 absorption by trees, are taken into account. The indicator is expressed in millions of tons of CO2 equivalent (Mt CO2-eq.). The data come from the national inventories on greenhouse gas emissions and from the European Environment Agency.

To compare the EU27 Member States, total net emissions (including emissions from the international aviation sector) per capita are used. These are published by Eurostat for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Goal: greenhouse gas emissions must decrease by 55% between 1990 and 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include goal 13: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts".

According to the Federal Government agreement of September 2020 (Federal Government, 2020) "The ambition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality in our country by 2050". This position is consistent with the European objective of a "domestic reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions (emissions after deduction of removals) by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030" (EU, 2021)

The federal long-term strategic vision for sustainable development contains objective 31: “Belgian greenhouse gas emissions should decrease by at least 80 to 95 % by 2050 compared to the 1990 level” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: in 2020, Belgian greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 9.3 t CO2-eq./capita (including international aviation). These emissions are above the EU27 average (7.5 t/capita). When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the poorest performance in 2020. In that year, Malta ranked first with 4.5 t CO2-eq./capita and Luxembourg last with 17 t/capita.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 13.2.2 -Total greenhouse gas emissions per year.


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