Shortly before the Christmas break the new European Commission published its long-awaited Green Deal. Once more the European Union showed its green ambitions and proclaimed environmental leadership by drafting a document full of strong environmental objectives. However, more will be needed than only big words. The Green Deal will need to make at least three fundamental connections in the coming year in order to be successful. Read more.
July 2019 – Combining social, technological and economic perspectives is required for successful change. In July 2019, SPA Sustainability organised the Summer Course “Energy Transition in a Fossil World” for the IVM Institute for Environmental Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In lectures, excursions and interactive sessions, a large number of expert speakers introduced the students in a nutshell to all key aspects of a successful global energy transition. The course was attended by bachelor and master students as well as energy professionals from all over the world and very positively evaluated: “The knowledge that I got is much more than what I expected before I came. Technology, Economics, and Politics, all of them are covered in just two weeks program – unbelievable but true.” The Summer Course will be organised again in July 2020. Read more
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
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.
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