Climate & Energy
The necessity of a climate transition is a given. Of course, the transition package must contain a rapid reduction of fossil fuels. As well as rapid development of sustainably generated, renewable energy, preferably locally generated and accessible and affordable for everyone. The shift to energy democracy is also part of the challenge: large private energy companies are to disappear from the scene, with energy becoming a basic service in which citizens and local government are in charge.
The climate transition is not a single city issue. Global collaboration can ensure that mid-21st century, the world will be able to run almost entirely on renewable energy (wind, hydro, solar).
The corona crisis is already quite complicated, but the climate crisis is even more complex: a combination of fossil fuels, a growing population, large-scale deforestation and agriculture, and an economic system based on growth. Cities occupy only two percent of the world's land mass. But they consume over two-thirds of the world's energy and account for more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions.
pollution by the rich, risks for the poor
The wealthiest 1% of the world's population is responsible for the emission of more than twice as much CO2 as the 3.1 billion poorest people. Inequality is also clearly visible: people in poor socioeconomic positions are more at risk from heat stress, their health is often more vulnerable. Some Amsterdammers spend more than 10 percent of their already low income on energy consumption.
The climate transition may comprise a number of ingredients.
- Amsterdam already has experiments in energy management: citizens generating renewable energy themselves in energy collectives and cooperatives. In order to actively scale up these initiatives, the municipality might invest in a public distribution network or a city energy network.
- Citizens, local renewable energy collectives and generators belong at the table with decision-makers and policy-makers, along with Amsterdam, national and international climate groups and networks. It goes without saying that the municipality runs its own services on renewable energy.
- The entire chain – production and distribution, infrastructure, network, finance, technology and knowledge – is brought into public hands, collectively owned and managed by citizens and local companies, or in hybrid forms thereof.
30 million jobs worldwide
The transition from a fossil-fueled to a sustainable economy delivers many new, green jobs. Global collaboration can ensure that mid-21st century, the world will be able to run almost entirely on renewable energy (wind, hydro, solar).
Research led by Stanford University and the University of California shows that the world-wide energy requirement for electricity, for transportation, for heating and cooling buildings and for industry can be (close to) 100 percent renewable, while also creating close to 30 million additional jobs.