As Connect Wageningen we think that everyone should take his/her/their responsibility infighting climate change, which includes the municipality. Therefore, we chose to use Triodos Bank as our bank, which is one of the most sustainable banks on the globe. In politics everyone is in favour of sustainability and its discussed a lot. Sadly, most of these conversations are about in who’s backyard won’t be used to generate energy, instead of in which backyard we can use. It all comes down to the fact that we do need solar panels on roofs and place solar parks and build windmills and make our homes more sustainable in order to achieve the average temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius. Because the 1.5 degrees Celsius is almost reached already. Therefore, in the coming years Wageningen will build houses and buildings that function without gas in mind of the warmth transition. Moreover, the RES will definitely be a topic that we will come across.
In Wageningen approximately 8 million euros is used for climate purposes. Thiscounts for 7.5% of the total budget of the municipality. Adding to that, there are many sustainability measures included in different other programs. Our plans are that these investments should increase, but this will be repaid later via a region group. The money from the capital without destination, see chapter about finances.
Commissioner for the research into participation in the regional energy strategy
Everyone isin favour of using the knowledge coming from the university, but nobody iscritical on how the municipality uses this knowledge. By being the client of different researches we have gained new knowledge and put the bar lower in other researches where the municipality acts as client. For example, we have asked two master students to look into the participation of youngster in the regional energy strategy. The outcomes were that the municipality came short, which is a point for improvement.
Pleaded for a city ecologist
Perhaps our most extraordinary and least recognized result of all. In the coalition (of which we are not part), it was decided that Wageningen will have an urban ecologist. What is special about this is that this was not mentioned in any of the election programs of other parties. An urban ecologist was only mentioned in our election manifesto. While others take credit, you can't read their election manifestos on it. At the end it doesn’t matter whose idea it was, it matters that Wageningen is becoming a bit greener again.
Amendment of the ecological 0-measurement at the first Haarweg solar park.
The first solar park will be built in Wageningen, places next to the Haarweg and surrounded by a large green hedge. We have submitted a motion to investigate the impact of the solar park on the local ecology. This research included questions related to the influence of placing height and space between the panels on the local ecology, animals and plants.
Motion on the ban of releasing balloons
InWageningen anyone can release helium balloons, as long as it isn’t done by 100people at the same time. We and Hilmar Derksen, ecology student, thought this was peculiar. Therefore, we submitted a proposal to completely ban the releaseof helium balloons. Unfortunately, the motion did not come through, because toolittle other parties agreed.
Client of the preliminaryresearch into alternative energy resources for the regional energy strategy.
Everyone isin favour of using the knowledge coming from the university, but nobody iscritical on how the municipality uses this knowledge. By being the client ofdifferent researches we have gained new knowledge and put the bar lower inother researches where the municipality acts as client. For example, we have asked a team of bachelor student to research alternative energy sources for the regional energy strategy. The outcomes were that using alternative sources will be difficult to achieve before 2030. However, it should be feasible for 2050.
Five timesa year we speak with all the sustainability committees of the major studentassociations that are located in Wageningen. Here, we get inspired to makeWageningen even more sustainable. We have a connecting role in this, as we canconnect the sustainable ideas from the committees with the right civil servant.