Last Thursday, over 50 participants, representing eleven PRO-SUD municipalities, ministries, unions, research institutes, and the Klima-Agency, convened at the inaugural “Regional Forum South” workshop. The primary objective was to collaboratively craft a pragmatic decarbonization strategy for the Minett UNESCO Biosphere.
Taking place within the premises of the former Arcelor University, housed in Building 5 on the Metzeschmelz site, the meeting unfolded in a space slated for transformation into a cutting-edge, environmentally conscious district. Building upon the outcomes of the last year initial gathering (in July), the assembly aimed to formally launch the “Regional Forum South” and prioritize specific regional projects aligned with the spatial vision outlined by the Department of Spatial Planning. Moreover, these initiatives were to be in harmony with the directives of the Climate Pact and Nature Pact.
The workshop started with a keynote address by the newly appointed President of PRO-SUD and Mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette, Christian Weis. He underscored the pressing nature of the task at hand and expressed optimism that a tangible regional strategy would materialize, capable of harnessing the strengths and expertise inherent in our region.
During the initial part of the afternoon, participants discussed the results and conclusions from the preceding year’s first working session, aiming to prioritize projects.
In the subsequent section, participants were segmented into five distinct groups. The objective was to delineate tangible projects that could be executed in the upcoming months through collaboration among the administrations of the eleven municipalities, PRO-SUD staff, and national authorities.
The themes of the five working groups are aligned with the primary chapters of the territorial development vision finalized in 2022 by the Ministry of Regional Planning:
- Urban development and housing
- Active mobility
- Food resilience and biodiversity
- Carbon monitoring
- Energy and citizen participation
These five working groups identified concrete measures, which were then presented during the latter part of the afternoon in the presence of elected representatives from PRO-SUD.
Next steps in the “Mission Zéro Carbone”
Over the coming weeks, two working groups will assess and implement the feasibility of proposals arising from the Regional South Forum. In the first group, climate advisors from the PRO-SUD municipalities will work on regionalizing measures to achieve the goals of the national climate pact, thereby fostering collaboration and joint efforts.
Simultaneously, the second working group, comprising technicians from the municipalities, will initiate the first decarbonization projects in the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, with support from the coordinator of the “Mission Zero Carbon“ project, expected to assume his/her role later this year.
In addition to these meetings, a thematic day is scheduled for the spring, focusing on developing a regional plan for energy production and distribution.