written by
Laetitia Pirson

Province of Limburg is European climate pioneer

Success Story Futureproofed update 3 min read , May 7, 2019

Limburg is the first province in Europe of which all the communes are going to work together on climate plans. They use a smart online tool for this, FutureproofedCities. The collaboration will allow the communes to save more money and reduce more emissions in the future.

Gap between ambition and action

For the Paris agreement, 195 countries got together to find a solution for climate change. They've agreed on keeping the global temperature rise under 1,5Β°C by 2100.

There is a major contrast between this ambition and the actual plans that these countries realized. That's why more and more communes and cities are stepping forward. They make ambitious climate goals to make their communes more attractive and resilient.

There's still work to be done though. That was also proven by a questionnaire in 2017 during the VVSG energy- and climate day with aldermen and city officials.

The results were quite shocking, as three quarters had no idea how much CO2 emissions they had saved the last couple of years. Half of them didn't know how their own city was monitoring this data. Apparently, this is mostly due to the fact that city officals are on their own for this challenge.

And that's why in early 2017 FutureproofedCities was launched. An easy-to-use online tool. Its primary goal is to help cities and communes reach their climate goals.

Serge de Gheldere, ceo of Futureproofed says: β€œWith FutureproofedCities we are supporting the city officals so we don't have to reinvent the wheel 308 times.”

FutureproofedCities minimizes the gap

FutureproofedCities makes sure that communes turn their plans into concrete climate actions to reach their goals. The tool helps them in four ways:

  • Developing climate plans with measures that help save CO2 emissions and money
  • Developing and managing data concerning CO2 emissions, costs and profits, actions and background information.
  • Tracking and sharing climate measures and -actions with everyone from local authorities to citizens.
  • Peer-to-peer learning from each other on the platform by sharing successes and experiences with other cities and communes.
β€œThanks to FutureproofedCities we've been able to track the progress of our climate plan and interfere when necessary. The public page allows our city to communicate with our citizens which actions we're working on and in which ones they can participate. Now we're all reaching our climate goals together!”, says Joost Venken, alderman of Sustainability, environment and energy in Hasselt.

Participants can discover new actions and measures with their colleague communes. They can exchange advice and compare their results. This happens both on the tool and on the inspiring networking events for the entire Futureproofed community.

Willem Delbare, Β CTO and co-partner of Futureproofed also points out the benefits of a networking effect: β€œThe more participants, the more valuable to everyone, and the faster cities and communes can become attractive and fossil-free.”

Limburg as climate pioneer

Limburg has a regional overview in the tool to see which measures work, which communes take the most action, who's making progress and who might still need a helping hand.

This allows Limburg to combine the aspects of Smart region Limburg with sustainability. It also sets the scene when it comes to a sustainable and future-proof economy.

This makes Limburg unique in Europe.

β€œThe biggest advantage of FutureproofedCities is that it makes the efforts of cities and communes visible for the local authority, citizens, companies and other stakeholders.” says Hanne Keunen, office Environment and Nature, Limburg.

So far, a lot of other European regions have shown interest. Potential new users are from the Netherlands, Denmak, Estonia and Spain.

Curious which other communes have gone live with FutureproofedCities by now? Check it out here in the group overview.

FutureproofedCities helps cities and regions to engage their citizens to participate on climate action. Interested how it might help you? Have a look.

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