Without adjustments, Antwerp will fail at 80 percent of its climate target (Antwerp)

Without adjustments, Antwerp will fail at 80 percent of its climate target (Antwerp)
Without adjustments, Antwerp will fail at 80 percent of its climate target (Antwerp)

READ ALSO. Climate director asks for Antwerp Climate Plan to be tightened: “Mobility remains the Achilles’ heel”

The objectives in the climate plan were established in 2018. Measures in various domains should ensure a reduction of 50 percent or 870.3 kilotons of CO2 by 2030. Today’s insights have been used to calculate this plan.

Alderman Tom Meeuws and climate director Manon Janssen remain optimistic about achieving the climate target. — © Joris Herregods

“Without adjustments, we would achieve 80 percent of our target by 2030 or a reduction of 700 kilotons,” says climate director Manon Janssen. “We will then achieve 100 percent without adjustments in 2033. The calculation shows that we are on the right track. I do advise the city council to show more ambitions and adjust, and therefore not to wait until 2033. There is no reason to panic, but something still needs to be done.”

In the series of measures, the proposed objectives are not achieved in reducing emissions from passenger cars, making offices and shops more sustainable, installing heat pumps and extracting energy from wind turbines.

Public transport

The fact that the reduction in passenger cars is not on the right track is mainly because the wrong starting point was used in the modal shift to sustainable means of transport, such as the bicycle or public transport. The starting point was driven by kilometers, while it must concern movements, as laid down in the Future Covenant.

“We’re fine with trips within the city, but the problem is mainly with trips from the outskirts to the city,” says the climate director. “It is clear that the quality of public transport needs to improve.”

According to Janssen, the city of Antwerp lacks an active policy to reduce CO2 emissions from shops and offices. Installing heat pumps and small wind turbines turns out to be less realistic in a city like Antwerp than first thought.

In one measure, the city of Antwerp is ahead of the set target: zero-emission cars. “The electrification of the vehicle fleet is going faster than we had estimated ourselves,” says the climate director.

Antwerp alderman for Environment Tom Meeuws (Vooruit) also remains optimistic about achieving the target.

“We do what others don’t dare to do and that is calculate our policy plan and adjust it where necessary,” says Meeuws. “We now know where we are on track and where we are not. The fact that we will achieve 80 percent by 2030 is good news, but we will continue to aim for 100 percent by that date. We should be able to do this if we can make some major successes, such as 20 billion liters of process water for industry with rainwater and sewage water instead of drinking water.”

The specific adjustments still need to be worked out in more detail. The priority must, however, be on insulating homes, phasing out passenger transport by car and expanding zeo-emission cars, and the development of heat networks. For example, the climate director proposes to investigate where emission-free zones or car-free roads have a positive social value.

Tags: adjustments Antwerp fail percent climate target Antwerp

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