Amsterdam to ask its citizens for their ideas to cut pollution

Do cargo bikes cut pollution? Photo:

Amsterdam city council is unlikely to meet its climate change targets and is planning to draft in a representative group of locals to come up with new ideas, according to the Parool.

City officials have set a target of slashing carbon dioxide emissions by 55% compared with 1990 in 2030, but the latest prognosis suggests that 37% is the maximum that can be achieved.

And when it comes to the 2025 target of cutting CO2 by 5%, the city is actually likely to be producing 3% more, the paper said.

Now the city wants to get a representative group of locals – decided by lottery – to think about how the targets can be reached. Sustainability chief  Marieke van Doorninck told councillors in a briefing she wants to utilize the ‘strength and ideas’ of Amsterdammers.

In particular the city has run into trouble in finding locations for wind turbines, but efforts to cut the use of gas in homes have also had little impact so far.

Jelmer Mommers, who researches forms of direct democracy,  told the paper that it is crucial that politicians make it clear what they will do with the results. A similar initiative in France, which produced 149 suggestions resulted in just 10% being put intro practice because of the potential political fall-out, he said.

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