Koekelberg becomes first Belgian municipality to declare ‘climate emergency’

Koekelberg becomes first Belgian municipality to declare ‘climate emergency’

The smallest municipality in the Brussels Capital Region has declared a state of “climate emergency,” making it the first Belgian district to do so and joining cities like Los Angeles, London and Vancouver.

“It’s now or never for climate,” town councillor Tinne Van der Straeten said. “Our generation is the first to witness the consequences of climate change, and will be the last one capable of fighting them.”

Koekelberg’s town council passed the measure late on Monday, which will allow for the creation of a “plan for climate” that will aim to put the municipality on track to achieve the commitments signed onto the Paris Climate Agreement.

The motion was put forward by a majority coalition of green and socialist parties, Ecolo, Groen, and Parti Socialiste.

“Koekelberg has decided to take up on the challenge because every level of power can add their little grain of sand,” Van der Straeten said.

The measure was passed alongside others to improve bicycle lanes and sidewalks, as well as another one meant to ensure public buildings in the municipality become more energy-efficient.

In declaring a state of climate emergency, the Brussels municipality —the least populous in the Brussels Capital region—follows in the footsteps of cities like Vancouver, Los Angeles and Constance.

In May, the United Kingdom became the first country to declare a state of climate emergency.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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