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The Drechtsteden: moving away from fossil gas and involving residents in the process

The Dutch government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% compared to 1990 by 2030. This includes the objective to get 1.5 million households off the natural gas grid. The responsibility for this has been allocated to the municipalities. The Drechtsteden, with just short of 300,000 residents, is a small region of seven cooperating municipalities. In order to reduce households’ dependence on fossil gas, several municipalities have begun to construct heat networks using waste incineration, geothermal and aquathermal energy.

How a rural Dutch town is working towards sustainability

The municipality of Horst aan de Maas is situated in south-eastern Netherlands, close to the German border. In 2020 it adopted a new local sustainability policy with four main goals: Horst aan de Maas aims to be a fully climate neutral, climate proof, circular and nature-friendly town by 2050. The population of about 42,000 citizens is highly involved in several sustainability projects. Local businesses and many other stakeholders are also involved. In 2019 the local endeavours were awarded with a European Green Leaf Award.

PENGON empowers Palestinian women as sustainable energy leaders

Energy scarcity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip impacts women in different ways than men, yet women are very rarely consulted on energy solutions. ‘Empowering Women as Sustainable Energy Leaders’, an initiative of PENGON, Friends of the Earth Palestine, brings local women together to transform the energy system in Palestine, putting solar energy in their hands. It also empowers women to be active in decision-making around energy and to lead change in their communities.