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Leuven MindGate, Leuven 2030, KU Leuven, imec and LEUC join forces towards a climate-neutral city by 2030

26 January 2023

With the selection for the '100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030' mission by the European Commission, the city of Leuven and network organization Leuven 2030 have already increased their ambition towards a climate-neutral Leuven by 2030. Now KU Leuven, imec, Leuven MindGate and LEUC also explicitly endorse this ambition and make their first concrete commitments. With their joint pledge, they want to encourage other Leuven organizations to do the same.

All parties involved promise concrete commitments and transparency about this in their own sustainability and investment policies and also take up the gauntlet to take the Leuven ecosystem in tow.

The joint pledge follows the selection of Leuven for the '100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030' mission by the European Commission. With this mission, Europe supports 100 pioneering cities for climate with expertise and resources in their path to climate neutrality by 2030. Central to this is the drafting of a Climate City Contract that will set out which local and supra-local partners will make which commitments to achieve a climate neutral city by 2030.

Jan Paesen, director of Leuven MindGate, says that the focus on sustainability can no longer be ignored in modern business. "We have long been committed to sustainable entrepreneurship in our operations. Because we are convinced that companies that want to remain successful should act in a climate-conscious way. We also see this in practice among our members."

"It is no coincidence that KU Leuven and imec are once again taking on a pioneering role here. Sustainability is increasingly a starting point and not an afterthought. The fact that we are co-submitting this pledge once again underlines our commitment to making sustainable entrepreneurship the norm in the Leuven region."

Leuven 2030 director Katrien Rycken: "The significance of this promise cannot be overestimated. In Leuven, we have long known that we can only master the challenge of a sustainable transition to a prosperous future through intensive collaboration. By looking together beyond the immediate individual possibilities and core mission of each of the actors separately. That is exactly why Leuven 2030 was founded as a network organization in 2013. The fact that these partners - who have long played an active role in our network - are now officially taking up the gauntlet to help activate the Leuven ecosystem and accelerate together will give a boost to our shared efforts."

In the fall of 2023, the City of Leuven and Leuven 2030, together with their partners, will submit the Climate City Contract to the European Commission. This should contain not only an innovative climate action plan that binds the necessary projects to committing parties, but also a financing model accessible to investors and financiers. From then on, it will continue to be used as a lever for accelerating the socially just climate transition in Leuven.

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