International context

With the adoption of the Paris Agreement (COP 21, late 2015), which entered into force in November 2016, the transition to a climate-neutral future has finally begun.

With this agreement, 195 Parties commit to keeping the global temperature increase well below 2°C (relative to the pre-industrial period) and to make efforts to limit this increase to 1.5°C.

Such a fundamental turnaround in society obviously requires a lot of thought and study, a thorough public debate and well-founded and detailed roadmaps that outline energy and climate policies for a given period. The European Union therefore issued a regulation in 2018 (Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 ‘on Energy Union Governance and Climate Action’), which required all member states to notify a first draft integrated National Energy and Climate Plan for the period 2021-2030 (NEKP) to the European Commission by 31 December 2018, and a final plan by 31 December 2019.

More information on the EU policy on climate change

National context

Belgium has filed its draft national plan and its definitive plan on time. The governance regulation also provides for the obligation to update the plans by 30 June 2023 for a draft update and by 30 June 2024 for the finalisation of that update.

On 22 November 2023, Belgium’s various governments reached an agreement at the consultative committee to submit the draft updated NEKP (2023) to the European Commission. This plan aims to set the outline for the transition to a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system, according to the five dimensions of the European Energy Union: low-carbon EU (greenhouse gas emissions reduction and renewable energy development), energy efficiency, security of supply, internal energy market and research, innovation and competitiveness.

Most updated information on Belgium’s NEKP

ASEVA tasks

The Law of 21st December 2023

  • enables ASEVA to store biofuels under certain conditions and
  • foresees the possibility to extend the system of strategic stocks to other energy products that in a direct way contribute to the country’s energy supply in case of an energy crisis. This possibility would be enabled by means of a decision by the federal government defining the additional strategic stocks, and the additional rules for the storage of such stocks.

Currently ASEVA only stores crude oil and the most important oil products, namely road diesel, heating oil, jet fuel and gasoline.

Except for the sudden decline in 2021 (due to the sharp decrease in motor fuels consumption caused by the lockdowns during the Covid pandemic) the national oil stockholding obligation shows a stable pattern.

However, given energy transition policy, national oil consumption will over time decline. ASEVA will adapt the stocks managed to this evolving obligation and, may in future, subject to a decision of the federal government, store additional energy stocks that become important in this energy transition.