BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – The non-profit organisation The Shifters Belgium has launched a petition to make the calculation of a carbon footprint mandatory and binding for every urban development project of the Region. The association had started talks with members of parliament from Brussels, but they came to no decision.
The Shifters Belgium is an integral part of The Shifters, a French association created in 2014 which aims to provide voluntary support to the Shift Project but also to carry out its own missions aimed at decarbonising the economy in order to respond to climate issues.
The Shifters wholeheartedly share the vision of the Shift Project. The Shifters Belgium association was founded in 2017 before officially becoming an ASBL in 2021. It had 180 paying members at the start of 2022.
The association wants to oblige the Region to calculate the carbon footprint and carbon dioxide emissions for future urban development projects. More specifically, this concerns the ‘construction master plans’ (RPA, strategic plans for a thorough approach to specific neighbourhoods at urban development level, ed.). In the meantime, the association says it has started talks with Brussels MPs.
According to the association, the Brussels region is not meeting the targets for carbon dioxide emissions due to the lack of forecasts.
Need for renovation
The association uses the project around the Media Park in Schaerbeek as an example. According to the association, the buildings there should have been renovated and not replaced by new ones. “After all, new construction remains the main guideline, at the expense of renovation, and it uses materials that are not very environmentally friendly (mainly concrete), which significantly increase the carbon footprint of urban projects,” it says.
The association had started talks with Brussels MPs for this, but these have come to nothing. The Shifters Belgium has therefore launched a petition on the platform democracy.brussels, so that parliament should consider the proposal.
The petition currently has just over 600 signatures. To get the bill before parliament, 1,000 signatures are needed.