IES lays foundations for Flemish industrial transition framework towards low carbon economy

In its energy vision of 19 May 2017 the Flemish government indicated that it supports the European long-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by at least 80% to 95%. The role that the industry will play in this transition towards a low carbon economy is of course vital in this respect.

This is why at the end of 2017 the Flemish government asked the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to develop an exploratory research report that looks at the conditions that have to be met for the future realisation of an industrial transition framework for Flanders. This study report has just been published on the Flemish government’s website.

In a first phase the IES research team performed a detailed analysis of the Flemish energy intensive industries, including a comparison with a few other European countries. This was followed by an analysis of existing low-carbon road maps (European, global, regional and cluster-based) focusing on energy intensive industries, including an inventory of new or planned industrial technologies that have the potential to achieve significant emission reductions and their relevance for Flanders. During the second phase of the project the IES team investigated the most appropriate approach to support the Flemish industry during this transition. Their conclusion was that a facilitating Flemish industrial transition framework for a low carbon economy is required that is linked to innovation, infrastructure and financing. The last phase tackled the way in which this future transition framework can be further elaborated.

The IES executed this research between February and November 2018. The entire project was assisted, followed-up, discussed and approved by a project support group consisting of sector associations, a non-governmental environmental organisation, port authorities, and the Flemish government.

The IES researchers who were part of this project are Tomas Wyns, Gauri Khandekar, Matilda Axelson, Isobel Robson, and Sebastian Oberthür. In the course of 2018, the same research team also produced similar policy advice for the European Commission in the shape of two research reports to prepare the Commission’s long-term strategy for emission reduction and a carbon neutral Europe by 2050, which it presented on 28 November 2018:

Are you also interested in environment & climate change matters? Did you know that the IES offers an Advanced Master evening programme in which you can specialise in the greening of the European economy and European climate and energy governance​? Have a look at our programme here!