‘How fair and inclusive can it actually be?’

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In the Dutch Climate Mitigation Act (klimaatwet), the goal is to reduce CO2 by 49% in 2030 and 2050 even by 95%. Since natural gas is the most significant source of domestic energy production, the urge for greener energy is rising every day. In 2050 all houses need to be gas-free, and to accomplish this, all municipalities established their transition vision heat. In this vision, the municipality describes how they will manage the energy transition and which neighbourhoods will be the first to make the transition. The municipality uses five governing roles to guide and implement the energy transition. Depending on this governing role, citizens have certain possibilities to be involved or participate. In addition, these roles also determine which policy instruments are used and what form of collaboration is provided. Collaborating with citizens is essential to generate their support since it concerns their living environment. The energy transition must be a long-term and, therefore sustainable solution. Inclusiveness and fairness are identified as concepts which affect the sustainability of the energy transition. With these concepts, the findings of the two case studies were analysed. These case studies were conducted in Presikhaaf & Zwanenveld. Employees of the municipalities, the environmental team, advisors working on sustainability measures and experts were interviewed. In each neighbourhood, 30 surveys were conducted with citizens to explore their perspectives and needs regarding the energy transition. The municipalities indicate that collaboration primarily takes place within citizen initiatives and these are currently not taking place in both neighbourhoods. Therefore, little collaboration is currently existing between municipalities and citizens. This study identified that, among others, this is due to discrepancies between municipal and citizen roles. In both municipalities, the adaptation of governing roles is based on actively participating citizens. However, in Zwanenveld, citizens possess a more critical attitude towards the municipality resulting in their passive role. Whereas, in Presikhaaf citizens, passivity can be explained by their lack of possibilities to participate in the energy transition. Consequently, expectations of the municipalities and citizens are not aligned resulting, in misunderstandings and frustrations. This discrepancy endangers collaboration between the municipality and citizens. In addition, collaboration can also be endangered by experienced injustice or a lack of inclusiveness among citizens.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen