Belgium has made progress in decoupling several environmental pressures from economic
growth, in improving wastewater treatment and in expanding protected areas. Regions
have achieved high levels of recovery and recycling, and have pioneered circular economy
policies. However, further efforts are needed to progress towards carbon neutrality,
reduce air and water pollution, reverse biodiversity loss and consolidate results
of circular economy initiatives. Strengthening co‑ordination between the federal government
and the regions, and among the regions, as well as enhancing policy coherence will
be key factors of progress.
As the COVID-19 emergency passes, recovery efforts should focus on putting the country
back on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Investing in low-carbon and
natural infrastructure, promoting circular economy, strengthening carbon prices and
phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies should be priorities.
This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Belgium. It evaluates progress
towards sustainable development and green growth, with special features on biodiversity
and waste, materials management and the circular economy.
Published on March 31, 2021Also available in: French