What is a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan?

The PAEDC (formerly PAED) is an action plan carried out by a municipality in order to achieve an objective of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on its territory and to improve its resilience towards climate change.

It is the result of an iterative process starting from a diagnosis of the situation and responding to a certain number of commitments coming from the Covenant of Mayors, namely:

  1. set goals in line with EU and national goals,
  2. involve all the actors of the territory in the implementation of this vision and
  3. act by defining and implementing an action plan to achieve the objectives set.

Gembloux, a city committed to the climate!

The City of Gembloux has been carrying out numerous actions in favour of the climate since the beginning of the 2000s and in 2013 embarked on the development of an energy and climate strategy at the level of the municipal territory materialized by an Action Plan for Sustainable Energy (PAED).

This energy and climate strategy had made it possible to define a trajectory to achieve an initial objective of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% per inhabitant by 2020 within the municipal territory. Alongside the definition of an ambitious action program, the plan also pursued an objective of raising awareness among the various players in the territory with a view to mobilizing them to participate in this effort.

Following this first plan, the City of Gembloux, at the initiative of the Alderman for Ecological Transition Ms. Laurence DOOMS, decided to renew its commitments in the fight against climate change by signing, on October 6, 2021, the Covenant of Mayors. Its vision: to act to enable citizens to live in a carbon-free and climate-resilient city in 2050. To achieve this, the City of Gembloux is committed to implementing a strong energy and climate policy at all levels of power and which is fair to all citizens.

This is why the municipality has hired a POLLEC coordinator to monitor the creation and implementation of the PAEDC, in support of the energy advisor. In her role as POLLEC coordinator, Julie Choutt has, among other things, created a PAEDC steering committee made up of citizens, politicians, representatives of the municipal administration and various local stakeholders.

As the PAEDC progresses, the steering committee assumes several roles under the supervision of the POLLEC coordinator who herself provides the link between the committee and the municipal administration.

During the development of the PAEDC, the steering committee:

  • Analyses, comments and validates the energy and CO2 balance of the municipal territory, the assessment of its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change as well as the estimation of the renewable energy potential
  • Collectively establishes a proposal for sectoral objectives for reducing CO2 emissions
  • Develops and collectively selects actions aimed at achieving these objectives
  • Submits a PAEDC project to the management committee, the municipal college and the council

During this same phase, Ms. Choutt organized several working groups with the actors of the territories (ASBL, citizens, …) on different themes (residential sector, transport, renewable energies, vulnerability of the territory, …) in order to collect the everyone’s ideas and opinions and incorporate them into the action plan. WattElse also participated in the animation of some of these working groups.

During the implementation of the PAEDC, the roles of the steering committee are as follows:

  • Define a communication plan and a local mobilization approach
  • Implement actions on the territory (if necessary, call on external bodies)
  • Propose possible adaptations and/or modifications of the plan according to the evolution of the local context and the appearance of new opportunities
  • Follow the progress of the various actions and make an annual inventory which is submitted to the college

What is the city’s new goal?

With the approval of the municipal council, the City of Gembloux has now set itself a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions per inhabitant (in order to take into account the significant demographic growth of the municipality) of at least 40 % by 2030 on the scale of its territory. It also intends to achieve this new objective based on changes in collective behaviour without considering the impact in its territorial assessment of the production of renewable energy from wind turbines, in order not to underestimate the efforts to be undertaken at the municipal scale.

What are the priority sectors?

The priority sectors from an emissions perspective are the housing and transportation sectors. The agricultural sector is the most vulnerable to climate change. The action plan is divided into five areas, each taking up different actions to achieve the set objective. Priority is naturally given to actions with significant reduction and/or improvement potential.

What is the role of WattElse in this project?

WattElse brought its multidisciplinary expertise to the City of Gembloux to establish this concrete, realistic and motivating action plan, including, among other things, the technical and financial diagnosis of the situation, the calculation of gains, the projection/vision for 2030 and 2050, the animation of part of the working groups and the synthesis of actions.

Thanks to the involvement of the municipality, our team was able to translate the various ideas resulting from the working groups into realistic and achievable objectives and lead to the realization of a PAEDC resulting from a work of consultation and collaboration with the various territorial stakeholders namely citizens, farmers, politicians, municipal agents and experts.

Through such an action plan, our energy strategy department offers its clients sustainable and concrete actions that will have a positive impact on the energy transition of tomorrow. The energy crisis is also a source of opportunities and we are delighted by the dynamism displayed by the City of Gembloux in this area”, Alison Taziaux, Energy Engineer WattElse.

Where can I consult this action plan? How to participate in its realization?

You can visit the City of Gembloux website for more information about this ambitious plan. The PAEDC, approved by the Municipal Council in April 2022, can be consulted online.

This plan was developed not only with the support of WattElse but also with several citizens, members of the steering committee, set up not only to develop the PAEDC but also to ensure its communication and monitor the implementation of the actions included in the plan.

For any additional information, you can consult the City’s energy department, available by email at energie@gembloux.be or by telephone at 081/62 63 97.