A political experiment in Amsterdam: the capital wants to emit more than half as much CO2 as in 1990 within ten years, but the current measures are not going to achieve that. That is why the municipality has asked 100 to strive for the proposal to reduce CO2 quickly enough in a citizen.
In other countries, this means has already been used, such as in France and Ireland, to encourage citizens to be more original in politics. But will the plans really take off?
Industry largest emitter
In the capital, it is mainly electricity consumption in the business market, such as the hotel sector and industry in the port, that still causes greenhouse gas emissions. According to the location of the capital to a CO2 reduction of 37 percent by 2030
In the hope of achieving the climate goals, the city council asked 2,000 Amsterdammers to think about additional measures. The municipality selected 100 people who gathered for a number of days and nights. They receive information from experts, such as the director of the KNMI.
The mini citizens’ council in Amsterdam is also an experiment to see whether it works and is a good form to deploy more often – and usually also nationally. But right from the start of the mini-citizen council, criticism is heard about the short duration. Several participants were of the opinion that you cannot deal with such a complex subject as CO2 reduction in a few days’ time.
In the video you get a behind the scenes look:
Short term politicians. Citizens are better able to do concrete things’
Despite the criticism towards the Amsterdammers, they got to work. They eventually came up with 26 plans. For example, they propose that from 2025 only cruise ships that use green energy should moor in Amsterdam.
Other ideas are a fund to stimulate the sustainability of homes and an increase in the price of parking permits, especially for a second car. The municipality could also give to people who will continue to work from home, so that less commuter traffic is possible in Amsterdam.
The council presented the plans to alderman Marieke van Doorninck (Sustainability) on Monday evening. She says the city council plans to adopt the proposal. “Of course you can’t ask people to get together for a few evenings, come up with good plans and then do nothing with them.”
It is often the case that the government surprises citizens with measures. Now is the investigation.
Former Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer is chairman of the Amsterdam citizens’ council. Earlier this year, he was commissioned by the government to conduct research into citizen involvement in climate policy.
“It is often the case that the government surprises citizens with measures,” says Brenninkmeijer. “Now it’s transactions: the government first starts talking and then comes up with measures. Then you can expect that with those measures much more consideration has been given to: what does it mean for burgers?”
Brenninkmeijer believes that this “direct form of democracy” should be used more often. “The EU now has a similar process going on about the future of the European Union. But it’s the basis that this happens much more often, that it has been identified and that people have the confidence that this is a good tool and they taking it seriously.”
‘Municipality ignores criticism’
Incidentally, not everyone is happy with the mini-citizen deliberation. For example, Harmen Bos of Burgerplatform Nederland argues that critical residents, who have been involved in climate policy for years, are not heard in this way.
“Such an appearance, perhaps sympathetic, and it partly is, but the climate measures that the municipality has received more attention. You also have to listen to residents who are already in it. If you ignore their criticism, then you just don’t take some of your residents seriously.”
design plans the city council of Amsterdam actually plans the plans. The council will discuss the measures in February.