Leuven has been selected by the European Climate Innovation Community EIT Climate-KIC as one of the ten iconic cities, along with cities like Copenhagen, Madrid, Amsterdam and Vienna. As an iconic city, Leuven 2030 and the city of Leuven, together with EIT Climate-KIC, will draw up a strategic plan for Leuven's climate approach in 2020. In addition to expertise Leuven can also count on meaningful financial support of 100,000 euros.
At the beginning of March this year Leuven 2030 presented its Roadmap 2025 · 2035 · 2050, a unique action plan that shows what steps we need to take year after year to make Leuven a climate-neutral city in 2050. In order to accelerate the implementation of this Roadmap, Leuven 2030 and the city of Leuven are now joining forces with the European Climate Innovation Community EIT Climate-KIC.
With the programme "Healthy, Clean Cities", they chose ten European cities to support them in drawing up a strategic plan for their climate transition. The ten cities that can participate in this programme have been selected on the basis of their climate ambitions and the process they are already setting up to achieve these ambitions.
"The plans to make Leuven a climate-neutral city are there. It’s important to put these plans into practice. We will have to move up a gear in the coming years and that will require a lot of resources. We are therefore pleased with the expertise and financial support of EIT Climate-KIC and hope that this is the beginning of a long, fruitful collaboration", says David Dessers, alderman for climate and sustainability. "It's great that a city like Leuven is now in partnership with cities like Vienna and Amsterdam.”
EIT Climate-KIC selected Leuven for this programme because of the ambitious climate plans of the city council, the dedicated and innovative university and the work of Leuven 2030. The non-profit organisation is the driving force behind the urban climate approach and the Roadmap 2025 · 2035 · 2050, which clearly outlines the steps towards a climate-neutral Leuven.
"We are very proud that Leuven 2030 and its Roadmap are part of this position as an iconic city in this European climate programme, which brings financial resources and expertise to our city. This collaboration will undoubtedly accelerate the translation of the Roadmap into concrete actions and impact in Leuven", says Katrien Rycken, coordinator of Leuven 2030. Together with other selected cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Vienna, Madrid and Milan, Leuven now forms a unique and strong network of progressive cities. "It is the cities that are at the forefront of the entire climate issue," says Mayor Mohamed Ridouani.
"The fact that EIT Climate-KIC selects Leuven to be part of the iconic cities of this programme is yet another recognition of Leuven’s unique model of cooperation. This will enable us to inspire other cities, just as we have done in the past, and learn from cities like Copenhagen or Vienna. The fact that Leuven is mentioned in the same breath as these progressive metropolises makes me particularly proud."
100,000 euros for Leuven
For the collaboration in 2019, a subsidy of 100,000 euros has been awarded to Leuven. In addition four expertise partners of EIT Climate-KIC and the eighteen programme managers of Leuven 2030 are joining forces. These programme managers started at the beginning of September to translate the thirteen programmes from the Leuven Roadmap into tangible action and impact in our city. The four expertise partners and the programme managers will work together on a strong strategic plan for the Leuven climate transition in 2020. "Today is the beginning of a journey together. By committing to working together for a long time, we can bring the best ideas and the best talent to Leuven to realise innovations that we know are needed to achieve our climate goals," says an enthusiastic Thomas Osdoba, senior advisor at EIT Climate-KIC.
The strategic plan will outline how the Roadmap can be realised in Leuven in 2020 in terms of the process to be carried out, involving the whole of society in the climate approach, deploying investment programmes and seeing what new business models and financing solutions exist. In this way, this partnership leads to accelerating progressive actions in Leuven in the areas of energy consumption of buildings, mobility, food and waste, and circular economy. With Leuven 2030, the city of Leuven has already shown leadership in the field of climate action and sustainable development. As with many leading cities, these climate efforts have made it clear that more support is needed to achieve our climate ambitions. The shared ambition of Leuven 2030 and the city of Leuven is therefore to extend the collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC and its partners until the end of 2020 and to attract an extra subsidy of 1 million euros to Leuven for this purpose.
EIT Climate-KIC is a knowledge and innovation community that is committed to supporting projects and processes, that help communities towards a climate-neutral, carbon-free future, with expertise and financial resources. It is part of the European Union's European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Through this partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, Leuven 2030 and the City of Leuven will collaborate with world leaders in innovation efforts, financial solutions and the involvement of citizens and policy makers.
Source: Leuven 2030