The province of Antwerp, at the north of Belgium, has 1,880,000 inhabitants and a diverse landscape. Iwith big cities (Antwerp: 500,000, Mechelen: 89,000) and 69 municipalities. It is home to 5 energy cooperatives. Most of these started as citizen initiatives before growing into recognised REScoops: ZuidtrAnt from a Repair Café and Klimaan from a non-profit. The province of Antwerp has enormous potential for growth as climate conscious citizens and local authorities commit to energy transition. Citizen led initiatives can take form of a neighbourhood, apartment block or even created by colleagues from different areas. Antwerp supports the collaboration of existing and new citizens initiatives with local authorities under the wings of established energy cooperatives.
The city of Mechelen is a climate pioneer in Flanders and Belgium. In the last decade it reduced their carbon emissions by 15% per capita. The city is a frontrunner in climate and energy strategy. After the approval of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action plan 2030 in 2020, the city set out to draft a fossil-free heating strategy. Mechelen wants to be the pioneer in new energy initiatives and is convinced that this bottom-up approach to energy is the way forward in the energy transition.