Subsidies with an impact on the environment - methodology, inventory and case studies

The EU’s commitment to reforming environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) is reiterated in the 2011 Resource Efficiency Roadmap. In response to this call, the Flemish Government has launched a broad project to develop an inventory of the most environmentally harmful subsidies in Flanders and establish plans and timetables for their phase-out as requested by the European Commission.

This report by VITO and IEEP has been developed for the Nature and Energy Department of the Flemish Government and seeks to feed into this broader process. The ultimate aim is to help achieve the objectives of the Flemish Environmental Policy Plan 2011-2015 to spend budget resources as efficiently as possible in times of budget austerity and to prevent subsidies from the Flemish Government that undermine their environmental objectives.

The study screens potential environmentally harmful subsidies as well as subsidies with a neutral or positive impact across different policy areas of the Flemish Government. A particular focus of the study has been on subsidies with an impact on urban sprawl. Detailed case studies were developed on combined heat and power certificates, green certificates for the energetic valorisation of biomass, private road transport, public road transport and property tax. A flowchart to support the reform of such subsidies is also included in the report.

The report is in Flemish, the executive summary has been translated into English.