In the Belgian region of Flanders, Minister Bart Somers launched a Local Energy and Climate Pact (LEKP) to tackle the global climate challenge at the local level. Focusing on four areas (greening, participatory energy, sustainable mobility and rainwater), the Local Energy and Climate Pact sets concrete objectives for its signatories.
For example, the LEKP is aiming for one tree per inhabitant, 50 collective renovations per 1,000 housing units, one charging point per 100 inhabitants and one square meter of softening per inhabitant. The pact was already signed by 293 of the 300 Flemish cities and municipalities in Belgium.
A success that has not gone unnoticed: Executive Vice President Timmermans invited Flemish Minister Bart Somers to become an EU Climate Pact Ambassador. The LEKP will be disseminated throughout the rest of Europe as a source of inspiration for other regional governments and local authorities.
"Ambitions have to be translated into concrete measures and we need the local governments very much for that. The LEKP has a fantastic approach in this respect and we are now going to promote it throughout Europe," said Frans Timmermans.
The European Covenant of Mayors is already a place where the LEKP will be studied with great attention. With no less than 98% of Flemish municipalities participating, the region leads by example.
"We can be incredibly proud of our Flemish cities and municipalities", said Flemish Minister Bart Somers. "What they do here in Flanders will be spread throughout Europe. And that is also necessary. The local level of government is where the solution to this global challenge lies. They are the first to be confronted with the consequences of climate change. And they are therefore also the most ambitious in working out concrete solutions on the ground. They are able to mobilize, to involve citizens and to get things moving. I am very happy to put my shoulder to the wheel on this one."