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.
OECD Environmental Performance Reviews provide independent assessments of countries’ progress towards their environmental policy objectives. Reviews promote peer learning, enhance government accountability, and provide targeted recommendations aimed at improving environmental performance, individually and collectively. They are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data, and evidence-based analysis. Each cycle of Environmental Performance Reviews covers all OECD countries and selected partner economies.