Les Engagés put forward a sweeping “transformation plan” to save the climate
During a press conference in Brussels, Les Engagés vice-president Yvan Verougstraete defended: “When it comes to climate, we are not optimists or pessimists. We have to be activists.”
To fulfill the call of the energy transition “and to secure the future of our children”, the centrist movement has developed a broad “transformation plan”, and the launch of this plan should be conditional on their prior implementation according to their wishes. Referendum on “Citizens Pact for Transition”.
Belgians will be invited to express their views on the need to limit CO2 emissions, in particular by creating a personal carbon budget.
They will also have to express their views on the new governance of the transition, with a clear hierarchy of standards between Federal and regional institutions, as well as the possibility of sanctions if the objectives are not met.
Concerned about preventing the most polluting industries from moving out of Europe, the pledges also propose replacing the European market for CO2 emission quotas with a general carbon tax mechanism targeting all products, including those from environmentally weaker countries. . Even if it means crushing international trade rules.
“The fight against climate change must take precedence over free trade and globalization. We must reform the World Trade Organization or ignore it,” Committed’s vice president insists.
Aware that this environmental tax would create inflation that would cause social problems, Engages proposes redistributing the revenue to citizens through “carbon dividends.”
“Whoever pollutes less will have more income,” says Yvan Verougstraete.
According to the staff, the fight against climate change cannot be won without greater public awareness of the issues or significant reductions in consumption patterns, particularly of fossil fuels.
In this regard, the party proposes to create an individual carbon budget for the purchase of fossil fuels as well as plane tickets.
Once exhausted, it will be impossible to consume any more, except to buy back credits from those who did not use their entire budget.
However, opportunities will be provided for more vulnerable or geographically isolated audiences.
“We are one of the movements that think we should reduce our consumption of energy and materials,” continues Mr. Verougstraete.
“Reduction is not a bad word!” he insists, preferring to speak of “sobriety” without advocating any “reduction”.
“We are not in favor of a decrease in economic growth. If it is true, if less material consumption is required, on the other hand, we need more human added value,” he insists.
In order to significantly reduce energy consumption, the Experts also advocate the creation of a comprehensive housing insulation plan, which will be fully financed by public authorities on the basis of the principle of third-party investors.
Other measures collectively recommended: electrification of the car fleet, combating planned obsolescence, CO2 capture and storage, building new nuclear power plants, using hydrogen or even promoting more environmentally friendly agricultural methods.
Finally, the pledgers believe that Belgium will also have to show solidarity (finance) with the countries of the south, which will be the first victims of global warming, even though they have contributed very little to global warming. According to them, this aid should be part of the ethical logic, but also prevent any future influx of climate refugees.
“Our proposals are solid and reliable,” Maxime Prevoit, President of Committed, defended at the end.
“We advocate pragmatic ecology to build support. We don’t want to stick to symbols. Our climate policy is more proactive than some, less dogmatic than others,” he slipped.
In addition to the climate “transformation plan” announced on Thursday, the commitment prepares three more for the coming months. The next, due in the spring, will focus on taxes and labor.
Two more are planned for later. For one, they will focus on welfare and health, for the other, security and justice.