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Brussels to plant a tree for every newborn child
The City of Brussels has pledged to plant a tree for each of the 3,000 babies born in the city each year.
Two of the city's new Ecolo councillors are behind the initiative, which has been backed by the city council with an annual budget of €25,000.
The trees will not be planted in Belgium, but in Africa or South America - and not before the end of this year or early 2020.
Parents at the city's maternity wards - Brugmann, Saint-Jean and Saint-Pierre - will be given a small card explaining where their child's tree will be planted.
"We wanted to make it clear that the climate issue knows no borders," said Brussels city councillor for climate Benoît Hellings. "Carbon dioxide emissions have an impact everywhere in the world."
The idea is part of a broader climate plan approved by the city council, which includes measures to make municipal vehicles greener, enourage residents to group-buy cheaper energy deals, and replace the lighting outside municipal buildings with LEDs.
The plan also aims to make it easier for residents to apply for permission for revegetation projects - such as building new rooftop gardens, allotments and flowering trees on the facades of buildings.
"The city needs refreshing with greenery," said councillor Zoubida Jellab, responsible for green spaces and cleanliness. "It's about making the city more pleasant, but also using trees to filter air pollution."