Klimaan is an example of a cooperative that uses citizens’ capital to invest in renewable energy as well as in other commons such as water, land or air. Klimaan is a regional community with locally-anchored subgroups.

Klimaan is a citizen movement from Greater Mechelen, founded in 2018, and focuses on the current climate issue with the district level as its work area. Together with residents it organises various campaigns and implements specific projects. In legal terms Klimaan is well organised. On the one hand there is Klimaan vzw, involved in different climate actions, on the other there is Klimaan Coöperatieve Vennootschap, which invests in local, sustainable projects. Anyone can become a cooperative member by purchasing a share. If you do, you become a shareholder in Klimaan and can jointly decide on future solutions. Members automatically get a say in the cooperative's policy, with one vote at the general meeting regardless of the number of shares purchased. The cooperative subsequently uses the capital raised to invest in sustainable projects. Future profits can be shared between the cooperative members, now over eight hundred, in the form of a dividend. The first project the cooperative carried out was to install solar panels on the town hall and library in Bonheiden. In practice Klimaan was responsible for installing the solar panels, concluding the necessary insurance policies, maintenance and follow-up. The municipality pays for the power supplied, which constitutes the return on the investment.

One example of a campaign by the NPO is ‘LED Op!’, a collective purchase of LED bulbs for private individuals. Such a simple intervention not only contributes to more agreeable lighting, but also to reducing energy bills and considerably fewer CO2 emissions. In total, over 2,500 bulbs were sold. This equates to savings of 150,000 kWh/year, or 34,000 kg CO2 emissions on an annual basis.

innovative aspects
solidarity, financing

Klimaan in the spotlight
Klimaan CVSO focuses on renewable electricity, energy savings and green heat. The projects are financed using the capital within the citizen cooperative. In exchange, the members of the cooperative get control, co-ownership of the installations and a share of the profits.

Klimaan citizen movement
imageKlimaan citizen movement
Klimaan deliberately opted for the status of a citizen movement. it reinforces local anchoring and connectedness. The citizen movement bundles the strengths and financial resources of citizens and uses them to achieve the greatest possible impact on the problems posed by the climate crisis.

Klimaan citizen movement

article#Dedoener Climate Council
Chairwoman Elise Steyaert is campaigning to bring the 'commons' back under sustainable, democratic management. Instead of governing energy privately or publicly, it can be managed as a common good by a citizen movement. It means that every citizen can also become a shareholder of the future solution.

photo: Canvas, 2019

Portrait series - The Klimaners

photo: Fiene Keppens, Klimaan vzw, 2020

Klimaan and municipal authorities join forces: ten additional roofs with solar panels in Bonheiden
articleKlimaan and municipal authorities join forces: ten additional roofs with solar panels in Bonheiden
Klimaan wants to make renewable energy accessible to all inhabitants in and around Mechelen. To achieve this it is working with municipalities to install solar panels financed by the citizen cooperative on the roofs of municipal buildings around Mechelen.

Klimaan and municipal authorities join forces: ten additional roofs with solar panels in Bonheiden

photo: Erik Van Eycken. Gazet van Antwerpen, 2020

Klimaan seeks shareholders
articleKlimaan seeks shareholders
The number of investments must be increased in order to equip additional roofs with solar panels. This requires new shareholders. Each shareholder is part of a democratically structured environment in which he/she can jointly determine the future direction based on a voting system.

Klimaan seeks shareholders

photo: Klimaan vzw, 2020