West Flanders municipalities join forces to fight CO2 emissions
The “Mayors’ Covenant” has been signed by 32 additional towns in West Flanders, bringing the total to 48 councils committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20%
20% by 2020
The document, signed in Bruges on Wednesday, commits all 32 mayors to carry out measurements to determine the level of emissions on their territory. They will then draw up a plan of action to show how they will achieve the 20% reduction. Every two years after that, the mayors will report on their progress towards the target. Sixteen municipalities had launched the initiative previously, so the total now stands at 48.
The next municipal elections in Belgium are due to take place in 2018, which means progress on achieving the targets set out in the covenant could be an important factor in local campaigning in the cities concerned. Aside from Bruges, other cities signed on to the covenant include Ypres, Roeselare, Poperinge and many coastal towns such as Ostend and Knokke-Heist.
The idea for the covenant came from the EU, which has set the same CO2 emissions target, as well as pledging to use 20% less energy and to rely on renewable energy sources for 20% of consumption, all by 2020.
In West Flanders, the initiative was taken by the provincial authority and the intercommunal WVI, which carries out environmental studies, among other work, on behalf of 54 municipalities in West Flanders. “As a province, we wanted to be the driving force behind local authorities, to help them strive for and ultimately achieve their goals,” said provincial deputy Guido Decorte.
Photo courtesy Mohri UN-CECAR/Flickr Commons
Pollution in Flanders
months of life lost because of air pollution
alarm level for microgram level of fine particulates per cubic metre
billion greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents in Flanders in 2011