Hal Gatewood – via Unsplash

Can we save natural gas in a hurry? A number of Netherlands’ associations, companies, NGOs, municipalities and experts published a manifesto with a concrete proposal to work together with the government on the rapid reduction of natural gas consumption in the Netherlands by 5 billion cubic metre per year. This is equal to about 12% of the annual Dutch natural gas consumption.

This manifesto in Dutch was originally announced on newssite nu.nl on 15 March 2022:


Plea for a Cooperation Programme for Rapid Energy Savings by and for citizens, companies and government: Five billion cubic metres less natural gas within a year

It has never been clearer that we have to radically green our energy supply: there’s a climate crisis, we’re dependent on violent dictators, and energy bills are going sky-high. This is the moment to swing into action together.

Rapid energy savings and switching to renewable energy are the only structural way forward, solving many problems at the same time. If we do this together, we can rapidly achieve a lot. All our organisations have many tips and solutions for this. We are ready to help citizens and companies.

Billions of cubic metres of gas can be saved just by only heating and lighting rooms in which people are present. The thermostat and heating boiler can be set to lower temperatures, heating and lighting can be controlled in a more efficient way. A host of small measures directly lead to lower gas consumption: e.g. door closers and draught excluders. This is true for companies and industry as well, e.g. by applying insulation to heating pipes and hot pipelines. Work at home on Fridays to save on travel kilometres and then turn off the heating at work. We can save a lot of oil by using public transport and the bicycle, driving slower, keeping our tyres at the right pressure, driving electrically and by car sharing.

We notice that the urgency and the desire to ‘do something’ are now so big that many people and companies have come into action already. Fortunately! Let’s strengthen that together and help each other. That’s why we call for a Cooperation Programme for Rapid Energy Savings. Because everyone can contribute to reducing our energy consumption.

We are looking forward to going all out to kickstart the radical change that’s needed, together with the government. We call for a goal to reduce our natural gas consumption by five billion cubic metres within one year.

We call for a joint campaign of governments, companies, societal organisations and experts, with the following actions:

  1. Start an active information campaign with weekly press conferences, in which the situation is explained, what’s going to happen, and who needs to do what. And: what can you do yourself, what will the effect be, who can help you?
  2. Make profitable investments in companies and industry obligatory: all energy savings with a payback time of less than five years have to be carried out. Actively enforce the existing law, and expand it to cover more companies and institutions, and renewable generation as well.
  3. Set a good example as government by saving energy in own buildings and operations, and ask the same from suppliers and organisations receiving subsidies.
  4. Help people and companies, visit homes and business parks. Invest in energy coaches, energy boxes, and energy co-operatives to get people going. Organise collective actions, together with neighbours or companies. Invest in capacity and education!
  5. Ensure that all subsidies are fully accessible for everyone. Guarantee that the budget is sufficient for all applications, and make all schemes as accessible as possible, for example by also subsidizing individual insulation measures and providing interest-free pre-financing. It is essential now to help out low-income households. Therefore, conclude agreements with housing associations for the fastest possible actions for tenants.
  6. Monitor the approach and the effects. To what extent are we on course to achieve the goal of reducing natural gas demand by five billion cubic metres? Bring the actions together in a plan, make them quantitative, follow the progress in all areas, map what’s keeping the speed down, address those barriers and solve them.

The Cooperation Programme will have a light and action-oriented structure. Representatives of societal organisations, companies and governments will get together on a weekly basis, together with a number of creative and motivated experts. Here they tell about their own actions, the results and the barriers they encounter. Together, solutions and new elements are developed. And we’ll continue until the goal has been reached.  

Signatories:

 Organisations
Nina TellegenAmsterdam Economic Board
Arie KoornneefASN Bank
San LieASN Impact Investors
Roel WoudstraBuurkracht
Siward ZomerEnergie Samen
Ehssane GounouEssent
Marieke van DoorninckCity of Amsterdam
Emile PuttmannGreenchoice
Andy PalmenGreenpeace
Aniek MoonenJonge Klimaatbeweging
Gijs TermeerKlimaatstichting HIER
Petra LettinkKlimaatverbond
Thijs van MierloLSA bewoners
Ika van de PasMilieu Centraal
Maria van der HeijdenMVO Nederland (ruim 2.000 bedrijven voor een nieuwe economie)
Marjolein DemmersNatuur & Milieu
Annie van de PasNatuur- en Milieufederaties
Olof van der GaagNederlandse Vereniging Duurzame energie (representing over 6,000 companies in sustainable energy)
 Participatiecoalitie
Maarten DerksenDOEN Foundation
Alette BeerlingTAUW consulting and engineering
Michiel KirchTKI Urban Energy
Kees VendrikTriodos Bank
Marjan MinnesmaUrgenda
Cindy KroonVattenfall


Experts 
Kornelis Blok – Professor of Energy Systems AnalysisDelft University of Technology
Felia Boerwinkel – Programme managerCentre of Expertise Urban Technology
Mark Boneschanscher – Managing DirectorInstitute for Renewable Energy Systems/ Eindhoven University of Technology
Wouter Botzen – Professor economics of climate changeVrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Andy van den Dobbelsteen – Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability, Sustainability coordinatorDelft University of Technology
Seraina Grünewald – Chair for European and Comparative Financial LawFinancial Law Centre, Radboud Business Law Institute/ Faculty of Law, University of Nijmegen
Anke van Hal – Professor sustainable buildingsNyenrode
Renée Heller – Professor energy & innovationAmsterdam University of Applied Sciences
John Kerkhoven – Managing directorKalavasta
Lisette Klok – Lecturer/researcher Urban Climate AdaptationAmsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Jeroen Kluck – Professor of Water in and around the CityAmsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Kees van der Leun – Managing directorCommon Futures
Derk Loorbach – Professor social and economic transtions, director DRIFTErasmus University Rotterdam
Karen Maas – Academic Director, Impact Centre Erasmus, Professor of Accounting & SustainabilityErasmus University Rotterdam
Pieter Pauw – International climate policy and climate financeFS-UNEP Centre of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
Reint Jan Renes – Professor psychology for sustainable citiesAmsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Margot RibberinkWeather woman
Frans Rooijers – Managing directorCE Delft
Richard van de Sanden – Scientific DirectorInstitute for Renewable Energy Systems/ Eindhoven University of Technology
Rens van TilburgUtrecht University