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Port of Brussels: the first CO2 neutral port of Belgium12 / 2018
Today, Monday 3 December, CO2logic conferred the ‘‘CO2 neutral” label to the Port of Brussels, making it the first Belgian port to acquire such a label. This label pertains to all vehicles of the Port and all the buildings in which its staff work: the registered office on the Redersplein, the port captain’s services in the outport, the mobile Buda and Gudshuizen bridge and the Molenbeek and Anderlecht locks.
The COP24 Conference (2018 conference on climate change) got under way today in Katowice (Poland). In the wake of the big climate march of 2 December in Brussels, the Port of Brussels thereby made its modest contribution to the fight against climate change.
The “CO2 neutral” label was conferred after the report on greenhouse gas emissions was drawn up, which enabled the regional company of the Port of Brussels to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions with precision. The Port of Brussels then implemented an action plan to lower emissions, in particular by installing solar panels on its buildings, insulation works, and the modernization of its fleet of vehicles by purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles, etc.
The residual emissions (which are necessary for heating buildings, for instance) were subsequently offset thanks to the ‘Paradigm Project Kenya’ offsetting programme which is intended to improve the health and income of people in Kenya by buying less cooking fuel for the kitchens of households and governmental authorities and by providing easier access to water for the local population. To achieve these goals, the project is helping the Kenyan population gain access to efficient pans and healthy and low-energy water treatment systems. The project uses carbon financing to develop local market channels and to support NGOs in creating sustainable distribution networks, improved cookers and adapted water treatment systems.
The label was awarded in the presence of Mario Girard, CEO of the Port of Québec and sponsor of the ceremony. The Port of Brussels signed a partnership with them this year to develop a joint roadmap for lowering greenhouse gases. The two ports therefore agreed to exchange strategies and to take measures to develop ocean and inland navigation projects geared to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The certification of the Port of Brussels as CO2 neutral is fully in line with the harbour activity, since thanks to waterway transport in Brussels, ca. 100,000 tonnes of CO2 are saved per year.