Emissions of CO2 in Antwerp reduced by a quarter
The new emissions inventory 2017 shows that in Antwerp CO2 emissions have been reduced by 23,5% compared to the 2005 reference year. The largest profits were made by the industry outside the port area (-48%) and households (-38%). With this, Antwerp meets the climate target of a 20% reduction before the 2020 deadline.
Nevertheless, the new figures need to be nuanced, and it is still too early for a hurrah mood. “The latest figures show that the easiest solutions haven been worked out,” says sp.a Alderman Tom Meeuws. “We’re not there yet.”
This is apparent from the comparison between 2016 and 2017. CO2 emissions rose slightly by 0,9%. This would mainly have to do with the incineration of industrial waste in the port. Road traffic also remains a problem. Transport, for example, has to contend with a 3% increase in CO2 emissions compared to 2005. Within this sector, road traffic is responsible for 91% of emissions, which increased by 8%.
18% of emissions from transport come from traffic on the Antwerp Ring Road. Kilometers driven in Antwerp increased by 8,7% compared to 2012, an increase of 268 million kilometers. In 2017, 64% of these kilometers were on highways. Over the last five years, the number of kilometers driven by cars and vans has increased faster (+8,5%) than the population of Antwerp (+3,1%).
Investing in public transport
Reducing emissions from road traffic will require a great deal of effort. “The emissions inventory provides an extra argument for making every effort to achieve the modal shift,” says Tom Meeuws in the newspaper De Standaard. “We will only get rid of road traffic if people can switch to public transport.”
According to Meeuws, the people of Antwerp have already made a lot of effort in recent years, but they remain the largest source of CO2 emissions. This is where the greatest gains can be made in reduction. In order to achieve that goal, Meeuws proposes smart measures.
Another 30% reduction
“I’m talking about the heat networks using residual heat from industry and energy-efficient renovations of the 175 apartment blocks in Antwerp by installing solar panels on flat roofs. These are interventions that are not only good for the climate, but also for the energy bill of the inhabitants. So what they invest, they win back.”
The objective within the framework of the new Climate Plan 2030 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 55% by then.