Dakstructuur in London - foto van Unsplash

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What is a climate plan and how do I get started with it?

What is a climate plan?

Having a climate plan is mandatory for large and/or energy-intensive companies. Such a climate plan describes how the company's relevant site will make the transition towards low-carbon operations in a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, taking into account the objectives of the Flemish Energy and Climate Plan (Horizon 2030).

Through the outline of the climate plan, the subsidy applicant must demonstrate that it has a climate plan. The detailed specification of the climate plan is not part of this outline; however, this document should be available for inspection by VLAIO staff.

Having a climate plan is an eligibility requirement. It is not in itself a subject of the evaluation of the subsidy application. VLAIO does not conduct a substantive study of the feasibility of the climate plan.

Admissibility

For projects submitted from 1 October 2022, an outline of the climate plan must be attached to the subsidy application if the (co-)applicant:

  • is a large enterprise according to the European SME definition
    OR
  • is an energy-intensive enterprise, i.e. has a final energy consumption of more than 0.1 PJ (petajoule) at the site level. This will consider the location in Flanders where most of the valorisation of the requested subsidy will take place.¬†Final energy consumption is the final net amount of energy delivered to the site without taking into account conversion and transport losses (power plants, refineries, etc.) as defined in Annex 1 of the Energy Policy Agreements for the period 2023-2026. For your information: 0.1 PJ final energy consumption corresponds to 27.8 GWh of electricity, gas, fuel oil, diesel, heat, etc.

The outline of the climate plan is an eligibility requirement for the following subsidy programs:

  • Research projects
  • Development projects
  • Feasibility studies
  • Baekeland mandates
  • Innovation mandates phase 2
  • Business partners at ICON projects
  • Business partners in projects submitted under a Spearhead Cluster

Please note that a climate plan is also required when applying for strategic transformation subsidies. This support measure is subject to different climate plan requirements and this condition also applies to SMEs.

When do you need to fill out which parts of the climate plan elaboration and when is it not required?

Each large or energy-intensive company completes Section 1 of the outline of the climate plan with each new subsidy application.

An updated summary of the climate plan (Chapters 2 and 3 of the outline of the climate plan) will remain valid for four years. This summary is therefore only required if the applicant has not yet submitted a climate plan summary accepted by VLAIO during the past 4 years.

Upon joining an energy policy agreement (EBO), the deadline for preparing a climate plan is changed to 31/12/2024. Joining an EBO is only possible for sites with a final energy consumption of more than 0.1 PJ.

For VER companies (ETS) joining the energy policy agreement (EBO VER) for the period 2023-2026, the climate roadmap to be submitted to the Verification Bureau Benchmarking Flanders as part of the EBO suffices as a summary of the climate plan (Chapters 2 and 3 of the outline of the climate plan) for VLAIO. These companies do not need to provide a summary of the climate plan to VLAIO (VER companies are those subject to emissions trading).

Non-VER companies joining the energy policy agreement (EBO non-VER) for the period 2023-2026 are required to prepare a climate plan by 31/12/2024 and provide VLAIO with a summary (Chapters 2 and 3 of the outline of the climate plan).

How?

Please use this template to prepare the outline of the climate plan. The template will detail the required information.

In brief, the following is expected:

Non-energy-intensive (<0.1 PJ) sites of large companies should cover at least their internal activities (scope 1), taking into account the objectives of the Flemish Energy and Climate Plan (Horizon 2030). The format of the climate plan is otherwise not regulated.

Energy-intensive sites (not VER) should cover at least their internal activities within the company (scope 1) and indirect emissions (scope 2) with time horizon 2030 and time horizon 2050. Multiple scenarios can be specified if applicable. The format of the climate plan is otherwise not regulated.

Energy-intensive sites (VER) prepare a climate roadmap in accordance with Annex 10 of the Energy Policy Agreement (template in draft).

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