The province of East Flanders is aiming to become climate neutral by 2050. When a province is climate neutral the emission of greenhouse gases is equal to the amount that the environment and soil can absorb. In this manner East Flanders hopes to limit climate change and to adapt to the possible consequences thereof. This ambition is set out in the provincial climate plan, which is the outcome of a broadly participative path involving internal workgroups on climate change in which the various provincial services were represented, a climate summit, and climate laboratories together with policymakers and officials, community organizations, associations, companies and corporate associations.
The climate plan is set out in five parts. The first part sketches out the consequences of climate change, both on a global and a local level. The second part presents the province’s current level of greenhouse gas emissions, as calculated by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). The third and fourth parts outline the vision and the strategy to be pursued, based on five transitional paths that represent the 2050 ambitions. These paths are: working towards a self-sufficient province in respect of energy; working towards sustainable mobility and smart networking; working towards liveable cities and municipalities; working towards a future-oriented and circular economy; and working towards a climate-proof blue-green infrastructure. The fifth and final part collects all the projects and campaigns together into a concrete plan of action for the 2015-2020 period.