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Focus on energy cooperatives

Interview with Abbes Kalmes President of TMEnerCoop S.C

  • What is an energy co-operative?

It’s a group of people who come together to pursue a social project that produces goods and/or services. In this case, we’re talking about the production, and soon the sharing, of renewable energy.

  • What are the advantages of becoming a cooperative as opposed to installing individual solar panels?

You can do both, but investing in a cooperative allows you to make a collective investment that is just as effective but less costly than the sum of individual projects.

  • What is the national interest in developing energy co-ops across the country, and what are the obstacles?

The idea is to develop communities of citizens who can meet their own energy needs (production and sharing). In this way, they are contributing to energy independence and democratising the means of production. The main obstacles are the lack of knowledge and the fears of some politicians about the potential benefits of citizen communities.

  • Can I become a TM EnerCoop cooperator?

Any individual who applies for membership and shares the values defined in our Articles of Association can become a member. We also have a number of non-profit organisations and a foundation among our members, and will be accepting municipalities in the future.

You can apply for membership via our website

Interview by Sébastien Kanarek and Eric Lavillunière

  • Created in September 2013 by 12 founding members
  • It now has 239 members
  • There are 11 installations in 6 municipalities
  • Total output 500 kWp (including 200 kWp in Esch/Alzette)
  • Annual production forecast for 2024: ± 450,000kWh, equivalent to the annual consumption of members (± 1875 kWh / person / year)
  • Under development: 1 project with an output of 300 kWp

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Climate (in)justice

When we talk about climate change, we quickly conjure up images of drought and flooding in Africa or Asia, with their disastrous consequences for local populations and harvests. But they also exist in our latitudes.

July 2021. The Alzette turned into a fury and floods everything in its path. In Germany and Belgium, the consequences were dramatic, with almost 200 deaths. Hills collapsed, destroying roads, towns and infrastructure. In stark contrast, the following summer was very hot (the 2nd hottest since records began in 1838) and the driest since 1921**.

Whether on the scale of North-South comparison or that of a single Luxembourg municipality, these phenomena highlight the immense problem of climate injustice. Age, gender, state of health or finances, geographic or professional situation mean that there is inequality when it comes to climate change.

The UN’s stance on climate justice as follows: “Equity and human rights are at the heart of decision-making and action on climate change***”.

From this perspective, including citizens in decision-making process is essential, given equal voice to express their needs so that the decisions taken exclude no-one and are location appropriate. Politicians must also understand the urgency of the situation and assume their responsibilities. Finally, raising public awareness is another factor that can ensure climate justice.

The Iroquois had a way of doing things that we could perhaps learn from. In the tribal council, one person had the task of defending the interests of the 7 generations to come in terms of the impact that each decision would potentially have on them. We are talking about active thinking, in the long term and not just in the short term, on the interests of future generations. This is what we are doing in the transition movement, with the participation of citizens.




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Food: choose change!

The agricultural production sector is one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases. More than ever, it is important to turn to local, planet-friendly agricultural production. Guaranteeing the human right to food, as well as the right of farmers to live in dignity (see international agreements signed by Luxembourg), is also crucial.

In Luxembourg, only 5% of the fruit and vegetables consumed are local (1). In 2023, only 6% of productive land was farmed organically (2).

In Esch-sur-Alzette, the town’s mainly urban and industrial structures have made cultivating land a particularly difficult challenge. There are some interesting local production initiatives, such as urban gardening, honey production and organic market gardening by CIGL Esch. However, access to healthy, local food that respects farmers and the planet remains a major challenge for local policies with regards to adapting to climate change.

Choosing to give priority to organic and local produce when making personal purchases can help to increase demand for these products. However, more ambitious policies on this subject would improve things further still. For example, encouraging and promoting self-production by households, which is already important in the South (3).

For public institutions, encouraging the use of peasant seeds (not to be confused with ancient seeds), co-sponsoring projects to develop a green belt in the south of Luxembourg, and encouraging the development of local grocery shops and groups for the maintenance of peasant agriculture, in order to develop the supply chain.

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A ‘hot’ year in Esch!

Projet Metzeschmelz, © Agora

2023 was the hottest year on record, and at the beginning of 2024 the planet exceeded 1.5°C for the first time in 12 consecutive months (1). Since the main factor in global warming is the accumulation of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), all the climate agreements aim to reduce them drastically and as quickly as possible. An initial deadline has been set for 2030 in Luxembourg, to reduce emissions by 55% compared with 2005.

At municipal level, it’s the “Climate Pact 2.0” (2) tool that guides climate policy, encouraging municipalities to reduce their GHG emissions and make efforts to adapt to climate change. The town of Esch plans to present its adaptation measures at the Second Assises Climat that is being organised this year, at the end of April.

For example, in the future district of Metzeschmelz, the urban design will focus on nature and human needs: recovery and reuse of waste water, creation of large green spaces adapted to the future climate, low-carbon rehabilitation and design of buildings, development of cycle paths and footpaths, good public transport links, etc.

To find out about all the measures planned, an exhibition will be on display from the end of March until the Climate Conference in the Town Hall Square. We invite you to join us at the end of May – during the Citizen Forum – to begin a dialogue with the City of Esch on the impact of all these adaptations on the daily lives of residents and their implementation in all neighbourhoods.

Finally, the Citizen Collective for the Climate will be holding its Festival of Citizens’ Initiatives for Transition in Esch-sur-Alzette at the end of June. It’s a great opportunity to get together, as we like to do at Transition Minett, and demonstrate that citizen action is possible in all areas, as well as to encourage more and more people to join our movement!


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Adapting without surrendering …. It can be done!

The Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 was a historic celebration! It was the first time, in more than thirty years of climate conferences, that the world community managed to agree on an ambitious and above all binding objective: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (1).

However, Greenhouse Gas(GHG) emissions have continued to rise since the COP, reaching a new all-time high in 2023. Scientists now believe that this trajectory of growth in GHG’s is unsustainable, and above all that it is no longer possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2).

The result is that climate change is accelerating at record speed, and the consequences are being felt more and more: heatwaves, forest fires, droughts, heavy rainfall, floods, loss of biodiversity, reduced agricultural yields, etc.

So we need to prepare for, and above all, adapt to climate change because we won’t be able to stop it. But we’ll always be able to mitigate it, now isn’t the time to bury our heads in the sand!

It will not be enough to blindly trust technological progress or to only consume “green”. To have a real impact, we must strengthen the fight against the causes of climate change and, above all, not be afraid to face reality.

The reality is that we’ll have to adapt and reduce our consumption habits – and it can be done! For example, young people who drive less and less, who eat less and less meat and who wear second-hand clothes, etc.

The reality is that we are also going to have to get rid of fossil and nuclear fuels – and it can be done! For example Austria, who today covers 2/3 of its energy needs with renewable energies (3).

Finally, the reality is that we will also have to give up the linear economy – and it’s doable! Esch-sur-Alzette, for example, and its many actors who’ve been working for years on projects that engage the logic of the circular and sharing economy. On the public side : the City of Esch directly, the SIVEC resource center, etc. And on the civil society side : Transition Minett, CIGL Esch, the Formida Center, FerroForum etc.

Proof that we can adapt without capitulating, for and with people, at all levels of society!

Eric Weirich

with the support of Eric Lavillunière


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12 minutes

In Luxembourg, but also in most other European countries, that’s the average length of use of a new drill over its lifetime! Twelve minutes. For most of them, that’s the time it takes to fix to the wall the shelf on which… you’re going to leave the drill for the rest of its life!And it’s the same to most new tools sold in DIY stores, or in supermarkets that offer power tools, usually battery-powered, at extremely low prices.

Bearing this in mind, and given the enormous waste of resources this represents, Facilitec, in partnership with Ëmweltberodung Lëtzebuerg asbl (EBL), launched Luxembourg’s first used tool lending point – Gutt Geschier – in January 2023.

Conceived by EBL, the principle behind Gutt Geschier is simple: collect tools that are no longer used by their owners, but are still in working condition, and give them a second life by lending them free of charge.

Since January, no fewer than 130 tools of all kinds (manual, electric, workshop, garden, etc.) have been collected and made available to everyone at Facilitec’s participative workshop. They come either from the SIVEC recycling center, or from private individuals or local businesses, and all have in common the fact that they are no longer in use, even though they are still usable.

To date, over 200 people have registered on the website, and as many tools have been borrowed. The impact of the initiative is beginning to be felt in a modest way. Over a 10-month period, Gutt Geschier users have not purchased a dozen new tools.

The success of the initiative means that new lending points will soon be opening. The first will be located at Bildungszenter Matgesfeld in Belvaux, and will specialize in gardening equipment. In addition, a number of organizations have expressed interest in setting up other lending points in Luxembourg. The relay of users is important to encourage other players, associations or local authorities to consider similar initiatives. So don’t hesitate to spread the word.

Finally, Transition Minett is preparing to extend the concept to the food sector and more. A library of kitchen objects is currently being set up, and will soon enable you to borrow a raclette machine, a food processor or a plancha for a special event, without having to buy a new one that will only be used a few times in its lifetime…

Fewer new appliances purchased means fewer resources consumed for a short-term use.

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The winter anti-waste recipe: Rabanadas

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Circular economy (podcast)

In this episode, Yasmin Labidi (Transition Minett association) talks with Caroline Holz and Miss Bak about circular economy, local economical activities that respect the environnement and about alternative economy.

Caroline Holz is the coordinator at Facilitec in Esch at the Transition Minett association.

She trained as a landscape architect and urban planner, and was involved in the design and construction of public spaces.

Ahoua Bakayoko is the foundor of the project « MissBak » in Luxembourg, a natural cosmetics brand, which is vegan and aimal testfree respectful of the environnment.

Listen here

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Do you you know what Facilitec is ? Facilitec, a third place for circular economy

I’m sure you’ve been here many times before, or even come in for a visit, but do you really know what you can do at Facilitec?

Housed in the former Claude Muller carpentry on Rue Berwart, 5 minutes from the train station in Esch-sur-Alzette, the place was renovated thanks to participative workshops and with second-hand materials from the end of 2018 to make it a place dedicated to circular economy. Here we share and give space to initiatives that take in the direction of ecological transition. The 300 m² offered by the building is already a lot, but we’re often looking to push the walls for certain projects: there’s no shortage of ideas! For example, you can come here to learn how to DIY, repair an object, make something, borrow a tool, co-work, meet entrepreneurs committed to a citizen ecological transition, come to an event, meet other citizens, drink a coffee with the Transition Minett asbl team, consult a book on ecology or zero waste, test a more sustainable lifestyle (with a workshop), an alternative mobility solution…

Facilitec defines itself as a “Third Place”, in the sense that it is inhabited by our association (Transition Minett) and a wide variety of users who often cross paths and exchange projects, and who together try to manage the new activities, uses and day-to-day life of the place as best they can.

The idea is to divide into working groups and move forward by meeting together from time to time. The groups meet monthly and twice a year, all the groups meet. For example, at the time of the renovation, the architecture planning group made monthly progress on small jobs such as the pallet terrace. This is also how the communication strategy on social media was defined, with the communication group, and how the governance group defined the general rules for use of the site, which have since been constantly evolving according to the subjects that came up.

Address : 37B rue de la Fontaine (access via rue Berwart)

Opening hours : Monday and Thursday 9 am-8 pm / Tuesday 11 am-5 pm/ Wednesday 9 am 5 pm / Friday 9 am-4 pm. Weekend closed except if there is an event and on the last Sunday of the month (workshop open de 10 am to 5 pm

In the same galaxy as Facilitec

We’re not the only ones working for Circular Economy in Esch, so we invite you to discover these projects if you don’t already know them!

Center Formida, Benu Village, FerroForum, a third-party metal workshop, CIGL Esch, SIVEC Schifflange, The other Give Boxes: at Kufa, Mesa, and one for books at Place de l’Hôtel de Ville.

A growing and unifying theme: active mobility!

At the time of the creation of Facilitec and in parallel to the neighborhood work, a group quickly formed around active mobility, first to create the Vélorution Esch group (Critical Mass), then a wider reflection group on active mobility as part of the Collectif Citoyen pour le Climat.

The subject of mobility has always brought together a large number of dynamic and motivated citizens: between active cyclists, DIY cyclists and supporters of low-carbon mobility, discussions on infrastructure needs to facilitate the use of alternatives to cars in the city and on a daily basis are well underway. Facilitec is a meeting place, a starting point, a place for storage, testing, experimentation, repairing or even temporary artistic creation (remember the bicycles painted as giant sea animals on the theme of Jules Verne as part of the Nuits de la Culture in April 2023).

The active mobility group continues to grow and develop, sometimes in smaller groups to organize the Vélorutions, sometimes in larger groups to produce a leaflet on cycling with the city, or to set up a future bike house in Esch: d’Haus vum Vëlo, which could become real in spring (to be continued!).

Facilitec will always be there to support initiatives that help promoting more sustainable lifestyles, with the aim of making the ecological alternative the easiest to implement. We still have a long way to go, but the energies channeled here are promising, and – we hope – multiplying.

  • Repairers: do you have a talent for repairing electronics, bicycles, sewing, wood or any other subject?
  • Donations of objects to share: as part of the 2024 launch of the library of objects, we’re looking for small kitchen appliances and children’s equipment to complete the library!
  • Coworking! Are you an entrepreneur looking to join our network?

Contactez : info(@)

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CCC – 1 year already

The thematic groups of the Collectif Citoyen pour le Climat will soon be celebrating their one-year anniversary, and all of them already have some nice actions and achievements to their credit. As a reminder, the first meeting was on December 3rd 2022, and on June 29th we all got together at the Breedewee Garden in Esch to discuss what each group is doing, to celebrate our collective and to reflect on its future (picture). There are many ideas on how to show the general public what the different groups are doing and how to join them, but also to improve communication between the groups, to offer joint mobilization actions and to move forward in the direction of citizen participation in the construction of public policies. Now is the moment to give ourselves the means to make them happen!

In order to develop concrete proposals for the future of the Collectif Citoyen pour le Climat, and to propose a sustainable, co-managed (or even self-managed!) mode of operation, we are launching a discussion with representatives of the various groups, the board of the association and Transition Minett employees. The aim is to come up with concrete proposals for the entire Collectif Citoyen pour le Climat (inter-group and external communications / joint mobilization and awareness-raising actions…) and a proposal for overall governance.

We will then validate these proposals and their implementation at a major assembly next year. If you would like to join the Collectif Citoyen pour le Climat, please contact us (contact(@)

Focus on:


With the code of conduct of FACILITEC’s Cybern’ethique workshop in place, the group of users of the workshop was able to carry out numerous individual and group projects throughout the summer.

With the start of the new school year, new opening hours have been introduced, with openings on Monday and Thursday until 8pm, the last Sunday of the month still being open from10am to 5pm (next November 26). So no more excuses: come and borrow tools, carry out your projects and join our DIY community!

Contact: atelier(@)

  • 0 Waste Group

The Zero Waste group visited Minett Kompost and Sivec over the summer, then organized an awareness-raising and waste-picking action in Esch to talk about the problem of littering, in collaboration with Serve the City. In partnership with Foodsharing Luxembourg, the group organized a meal with rescued food, in a cheerful and anti-waste atmosphere, at the end of October.

Would you like to join us? Contact us! yasmin(@)

The Collectif Citoyen pour le Climat also includes the Culture et Transition – The Art’ivists group, the Active Mobility group, the Construction in Transition group, the bio and local food basket group, the Eco-feminism group, the Esch Community Gardens group, the bio, local… and Vegan Food group, the Nonnewisen neighborhood group, the Lallange neighborhood Group. For news and contact information on each group, click here: