March 2022 – A new public debate on the role of nuclear energy in the Netherlands is coming up now that that the new Dutch government has announced to investigate options for two new nuclear power plants in the Netherlands. The war in the Ukraine contributes to the urgency of that debate. Therefore, SPA Sustainability proposes a compromise for nuclear energy in the Netherlands.
October 2021 – For the Clingendael Spectator, SPA Sustainable wrote a comment on the sky-high gas prices and the role of gas as a transition fuel helping to pave the way towards a phase-out of fossil fuels energy sector in Europe.
January 2022 – For the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, SPA Sustainability carried out a preliminary review of resistance to sustainability transitions and the role of public participation as an instrument for preventing or mitigating such resistance. The project is based on a scan of academic and non-academic literature and on interviews with key stakeholders in the Netherlands. Aim is to inform the Ministry’s Knowledge Transfer hub ‘Kennisknooppunt Transitie’ about available evidence, knowledge gaps and needs for further research. Results will be published soon.
October 2021 – SPA Sustainability contributed to the ‘Sustainable Places Conference’ in Rome (28 September – 1 October 2021) as author and co-author of two conference papers. The papers discuss how to set up and monitor a ‘just’ engagement of energy communities in five European countries. The lessons learned are based on the Horizon2020 Project Lightness.
September 2020 – For the scientific council of the Dutch political party GroenLinks (WBGL), SPA Sustainability started editing a book with scenarios and articles giving an impression of how a circular society in 2050 could look like. The book discusses not only possible technological innovations upto 2050, but also the social innovations that would have to with them. Risks and benefits of the transition towards a circular society are discussed.
November 2020 – As a response to ever increasing citizens’ engagement in sustainability issues, for instance through renewable energy or ecological farming initiatives, SPA Sustainability has led for the Open University of the Netherlands the design of a new course for policy makers and citizens interested in theory and practice of this topic. Some of the featured questions are: What kinds of citizen initiatives exist? How can they flourish and expand? What is their contribution to global sustainability transitions? What are potentials and limitations of these initiatives? and what are success factors for policy makers and citizens engaged in, or cooperating with such initiatives? More information and subscription options to the course as of September 2021 can be found here.
January 2019 – Citizens need to be at the heart of sustainability policy making in cities. Air quality and climate policies will require huge changes in European cities in the coming years. In the Horizon2020 project ‘ClairCity’, it is investigated in six European cities and regions (Amsterdam, Bristol, Ljubljana, Aveiro, Genoa and Sosnowiec) what current and preferred future behavioural practices of citizens can be used as a basis for such policies. Also, citizens are asked for their own preferences regarding future policies and local policy makers are given the opportunity to react to these proposals. In a final stage of the project, the effects of the unified citizen and policy maker proposals are modelled. The project shows that the pace of planned change is very important: in some cities, citizens seem ahead of policy makers, in others policy makers seem more ambitious than citizens. The project is carried out with partner Trinomics and 15 other consortium members all over Europe. Read more