How to phase down fossils in an ordered way

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November 2020 – Phasing down production of fossils in a fast but ordered way is one of the key challenges in the energy transition. SPA Sustainability chaired a workshop hosted by Wageningen University on ‘The Economics and Politics of Phasing Down Fossils’. In the workshop, practitioners from various academic disciplines as well as key stakeholders were brought together to discuss the issue. The workshop was held on November 3, 2020.

Green versus Red

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November 2020 – The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the new presidential team of the United States holds promises for a more sustainable global and American development. An improvement of the environmental policies compared to the Donald Trump era is certain, but the real impact remains to be seen. The announced policies and further shift towards sustainability that are required, might be difficult to realise in the current controversial political context.

Scenarios for a Circular Netherlands in 2050

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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.

Course Design ‘Citizens’ Initiatives for Sustainability’

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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.

Successful Edition of Summer Course Energy Transition 2020

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August 2020 – The VU-IVM Summer Course ‘Global Energy Transition in a Fossil World’ was held from 6 to 17 July 2020. 25 students from all over the world discussed with a variety of speakers from Dutch government, NGOs, academia and business to learn about social, political, economic and technological aspects of the global energy transition. A new edition will follow in July 2021.

ClairCity – Citizen-inclusive local sustainability policies in Europe

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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

Poems for sustainability

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Change towards global sustainability starts with feeling connected to your local environment. A successful sustainability transition will involve new forms of local cohesion. Poems in the public environment contribute to less anonymous neighbourhoods and to community building on a neighbourhood level. SPA Sustainability therefore initiated a citizen initiative that publishes poems on private walls in the community of Oegstgeest, Netherlands. All poems will have a connection to the location or to the village in general. Once that several poems have been realised, they will be connected to form a digitally available walking route through the village that also provides background information and music. The project also involves a poetry competition for primary school pupils in the village. It is carried as “Oegstgeester Muurgedichten Actiecomité (OMA)” for Cultuurfonds Oegstgeest.

‘Energie voor groene welvaart’

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December 2015 – A successful global energy transition requires new narratives for change.

For the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL, SPA Sustainability wrote the book ‘Energy for Green Welfare’ (in Dutch). It discusses key conflicts of interest that need to be solved for a successful global energy transition based on three completely different narratives for a future global energy sector: one starting from the viewpoint of the fossil fuel exporting countries, one putting developing countries central, and one focusing on industrialised countries

The book was published by Aeneas Media in 2015. Order here