LEUVEN - The European Commission gave Leuven the prestigious Green Leaf Award 2018 for its climate policy and, in its motivation for naming the city the European Capital of Innovation in 2020, referred to 'inspiring governance models' for getting residents, businesses and knowledge institutions to participate in that policy. However, Leuven's excellent climate performance is not evident from the figures of the past decade. 

According to the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), CO2 emissions decreased by only 1.9 percent in the period 2011-2018, which means that Leuven is doing much less well than other centre cities such as Kortrijk (-9.4 percent) and Bruges (-8 percent). The city does not have good figures for renewable energy production either. While in 2015 VITO estimated the potential for renewable energy at 19 and 22 percent of the electricity and heat consumption respectively, this was only 2.1 and 0.5 percent at that time. In this paper we list the obstacles and make numerous policy suggestions.

Photo:© Bernard Hermant (via Unsplash)

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