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Leuven wants to support the European Climate Pact

12 May 2020

Over the past few months, the corona crisis has shown us how great the need is for resilient, solidary and sustainable cities. The City of Leuven, Leuven 2030, KU Leuven, Leuven MindGate and Leuven-Europe Club subscribe the importance of the European Climate Pact. With this Climate Pact, which will be launched later this year, the European Commission wants to give citizens and stakeholders from all over society a voice and play a role in Europe's transition to the first climate-neutral continent, and in the economic programme that involves this transition.

Stad Leuven
Leuven 2030
KU Leuven

On Thursday 14 May, at 11 a.m., the City of Leuven, Leuven 2030, KU Leuven, Leuven MindGate and Leuven-Europa Club (LEUC) will share their ambition to become ambassador of this European Climate Pact, in a special edition of '#Klimaatpraat', to be followed live on the Facebook- and Instagram channel of Leuven 2030.

Our citizens, organisations and companies need a healthy perspective, resilient, prosperous and sustainable society in the post-corona era. As part of the 'Green Deal', which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, the European Commission will launch a European Climate Pact this year. A Public Consultation, assessing the willingness of residents, organisations and institutions to become "climate ambassadors" of this pact. These ambassadors will play an important role in developing climate action and citizens' initiatives, information sharing and spreading solutions to inspire others.

Joined forces

The City of Leuven, Leuven 2030, KU Leuven, Leuven MindGate and Leuven-Europa Club hereby express their wish to act jointly as climate ambassadors and will, in the coming months and years, launch concrete projects to be realised in collaboration with the people of Leuven. They also call on other organisations in the Leuven region to submit the online European Consultation in order to make themselves known as a climate ambassador.

On 14 May, at 11 a.m., Mayor Mohamed Ridouani, Vice-Chancellor Gerard Govers and leaders from the other partners shall explain via a live stream on the Facebook and Instagram channels of Leuven 2030, why the European Climate Pact is so important, especially in the post-corona era, and how citizens and organisations can thus play a role in the urban climate transition. "The corona-crisis has highlighted the importance of cooperation even more", says mayor Mohamed Ridouani. "In Leuven, we have a habit of working together, which enables us to react quickly and take the necessary initiatives. In these times with the coronavirus, but also in more normal times. Cooperation is also key to the climate transition. Within our urban community, with citizens, businesses, institutions, organisations, etc., but Leuven is not an island. We want to join forces on a European level. This Climate Pact is a big step in that direction."

Leuven as pilot region

Under the impulse of Europe, public authorities are now preparing a strong recovery policy to save the economy from a deep recession caused by the corona crisis. Europe wants the recovery policy to meet its ambition of becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Leuven also has high climate ambitions and, with its city-wide climate approach of Leuven 2030, is a real frontrunner in the climate transition of European cities. The city also wants to set itself up as a pilot city in the domain of the new European growth strategy. The city of Leuven equipped for this because of its climate strategy, driven by Leuven 2030, its innovation cluster united in Leuven MindGate, the presence of the most innovative university in Europe, and is supported by the Leuven-Europa Club, which facilitates the bridge with the European institutions.

"We fully endorse the value and importance of this European climate strategy, which is committed to health, quality of life and cooperation", says Katrien Rycken, coordinator of Leuven 2030. "With Leuven 2030, our city has been opting for a socially just transition to a sustainable, green and prosperous future for many years. Leuven has all the assets to lead the way for this resilient and inclusive future: the strong vision, the countless committed inhabitants and partners, the sense of entrepreneurship, innovation and responsibility”.

"KU Leuven considers it very important to play a pioneering role, together with others in the Leuven region, in realizing the climate transition", says Gerard Govers, vice-rector of KU Leuven, responsible for sustainability. "For an innovative university such as KU Leuven, this is not only a challenge, which we love to take on, but also a great opportunity. After all, exploring together how a transition can take shape is an excellent opportunity to do new research, not only to new technology, but also to the manner in which different disciplines can and must work together to shape that transition on the ground."

The city of Leuven, Leuven 2030, KU Leuven, Leuven MindGate and LEUC will therefore be hosting an to put forward a common position on Europe's climate ambition for 2030.

Pictures: © Tim Buelens

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