- Be honest: We’re in a crisis!
- Set up Citizens’ Assembly for climate in Nijmegen!
- Speed up the transition to sustainable energy, and share the burden fairly!
- Make Nijmegen green & biodiverse!
- Stop big polluters & make our air clean
- Switch to a sustainable bank!
- Free public transport and fewer cars in the city!
- Introduce the Donut Economy in Nijmegen: ecological, social & circular!
- All construction projects should be truly sustainable, nature-inclusive and fair!
- Sustainable and healthy food for all!
1. Be honest: We’re in a crisis!
The climate- and ecological crisis threatens the lives of all of us. Life as we know it is at risk. We have very little time left to put in place the drastic measures and profound transformations needed to keep global warming below 1.5 C, thereby avoiding the worst effects of the climate crisis. The municipality of Nijmegen has therefore rightly declared a state of emergency for climate and biodiversity in 2021 , but the seriousness of the situation is not yet clear to all Nijmegen citizens. This is largely due to the fact that the media and authorities such as the municipality do not report sufficiently and honestly on the climate and ecological crisis and its consequences. Climate activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate had good reasons to write a letter to the global media in 2021  asking for more honest information about the climate crisis.
We therefore demand that the municipality of Nijmegen takes all necessary steps to ensure that every Nijmegen citizen understands the climate emergency in which we find ourselves. Only informed people can make informed decisions. Everyone must understand the seriousness of the climate and ecological crisis, in order to accept and make the necessary changes. The municipality should increase its efforts to inform adults and youth in Nijmegen about the climate and ecological crisis and the necessary steps. In doing so, it should also involve scientists, experts and activists.
The Climate Coalition Nijmegen demands the following steps from the municipality:
- Meet your own promises of 20 October 2021, and actively convey the emergency for climate and biodiversity in the networks in which the municipality works – especially within Nijmegen!
- Start a far-reaching information campaign, informing the citizens of Nijmegen about the climate and ecological crisis and its consequences for the people. Work together with scientists and communication professionals, and address the issues of time, holistic thinking and justice as demanded by Thunberg & Nakate 
- Work with all Nijmegen schools and educational institutions to ensure that content about the climate and ecological crisis, its consequences and the transformations needed to solve it, become part of all curricula.
- Deploy a Climate Management Team along the lines of the COVID Outbreak Management Team. Make the Climate Management Team independent of corporations and interest groups: the scientific facts about climate and ecology should be leading.
2. Set up a Nijmegen Citizens’ Assembly for climate, biodiversity and the energy transition!
- An ambitious and broadly supported climate policy can be achieved by making citizens a part of the solution. Climate mitigation, climate adaptation, restoring biodiversity and the energy transition are the biggest challenges that await us in the coming years.
- In a citizens’ consultation, a representative group of selected residents make recommendations to politicians. They follow three phases: learning, deliberation and decision. Because a representative group of citizens has drawn up the recommendations themselves, support for the decisions that are taken concerning the climate is increased. Research by the OECD  shows that even people who do not participate in the deliberations trust the outcome, as long as the selection of participants is based on chance.
- Politicians negotiate with each other and listen to residents. But in the current forms of participation, the most attention is paid to those who shout the loudest. Participation evenings and the media mainly listen to the ‘usual suspects’. They are no fair representation of the population of Nijmegen. The municipality has so far remained stuck in these standard forms of participation. Fair participation by means of a citizens’ council gives a more reliable picture of the public opinion.
Climate, biodiversity and the energy transition are subjects that are particularly important to put before to residents, because the consequences of this crisis lie in the future. Parliamentary democracy is all about elections, which take place every 4 years. Politicians are therefore not always focused on the long term. Citizen’s consultations are independent of political interests. They focus on the long term, where citizens can better put the public interest at the center than politicians can. We can learn from the experiences already gained in France and Ireland, for example, and take lessons from what can be improved here.
We propose the following conditions to set up this citizen consultation in a fair way:
- Lay down clearly beforehand what happens with the outcome of the citizens’ consultation. The recommendations are either directly adopted by the city administration (college of mayor and aldermen), or are submitted to the city council for a vote. The City Council must guarantee that the recommendations are taken seriously.
- The people chosen to participate are representative of Nijmegen society, ensuring diversity. Characteristics such as gender, age, education level and distribution over neighborhoods are taken into account.
- Everyone should be able to participate. The participants in the consultation therefore receive an appropriate compensation for the work to be done, and matters such as travel expenses and childcare are arranged.
- The assembly is supported with sufficient time and resources for preparation, implementation and evaluation.The citizens’ deliberation is supervised by an independent organization.
- All information on the progress of the deliberation is public and digitally available.
3. Speed up the transition to sustainable energy, and share the burden fairly!!
Nijmegen wants to get off the natural gas grid as soon as possible, by 2045 at the latest. We fully support this, but it must be done in a way that ensures that everyone can participate, fairly distributing the costs and benefits.
The same applies to scaling up renewable energy production. In 2019, the percentage of renewable energy within the Nijmegen energy mix was only 4% and in 2020 only 14% of all homes had solar panels . The municipality needs to do more to achieve a fair energy transition at the local level and increase the production and use of green energy (wind and solar), faster than it does now. All Nijmegen citizens should benefit from this energy transition, especially those who have little to spend or do not own their own home.
Until now, the rich have most benefited from climate subsidies. Research by CE Delft  shows that 80% of the benefits have gone to wealthier households.
Most solar panels are on houses that are privately owned. For tenants renting a house, it is more difficult to arrange solar panels on their roofs, but above all it is harder for them to benefit financially through a lower energy bill.
The energy transition is threatening to become costly for low-income residents. This must be rectified. Research by TNO shows that about 8% of the people living in Nijmegen already live in energy poverty .
The Climate Coalition Nijmegen proposes the following steps to the municipality:
- In the energy transition, give priority to districts where energy poverty exists.
- Make subsidies for energy-saving measures income-dependent and give priority to people with low incomes.
- Provide every household in energy poverty with energy coaching as soon as possible to reduce energy consumption.
- Facilitate solar roofs on apartment buildings in a way that benefits residents. This means that locally generated solar energy should come in on the households’ meter, not on the collective meter. This can be done, for example, by “Herman the solar power distributor” . Plenty of practical examples  show that this works, but further scaling up is needed. To ensure that enough roofs are available on blocks of flats, the municipality can discuss with housing corporations and other owners. If necessary, the municipality can lease roofs of apartment buildings and then lease them to solar roof developers or, even better, citizen-owned energy cooperatives so that they can build a solar roof on them. The German municipality of Denzlingen has chosen this strategy .
- Make green energy suppliers the standard. Start with the energy supplier that covers the municipality itself (e.g. town hall, police station, etc.). Then talk to large parties such as housing corporations and businesses to convince them to switch to sustainable energy suppliers. Check here  which energy suppliers are truly sustainable - don’t fall for the greenwashing of energy suppliers who are still investing heavily in fossil fuels.
4. Make Nijmegen green & biodiverse!
The importance of green spaces in the city cannot be stressed enough. A green interpretation of the public space helps to reduce urban heat islands, flooding, and of course the greenery absorbs CO2. Well-designed green spaces also provide a habitat for many animals and help maintain biodiversity. This can be explicitly considered in the design and management. By integrating more edible plants into public green spaces, we city dwellers can create a closer bond with (some of) the food we eat, and our parks and roadsides can help to feed our city. Finally, nature also reduces stress and provides a place for recreation.
Nijmegen contains many green pearls that deserve proper protection. We have noticed that these places are still too often considered for construction activities (e.g. constructing cycle paths or building houses). We therefore demand that the municipality designate places where nature and ecology have absolute priority. It is important that these green pearls are interconnected to allow animals and plants to disperse through the city. In addition, there must be high-quality green space nearby for every citizen of Nijmegen.
The Climate Coalition Nijmegen proposes the following steps to the municipality of Nijmegen:
- Appoint green pearls where nature and environment have absolute priority and work on a strategy to connect them (better). Actively support the Green Corridor Nijmegen Initiative to create a continuous green zone from the river Waal to the woods of Heijendaal.
- When developing spatial plans, explicitly name green pearls and indicate how they will be protected and connected to the city’s green structure.
- In new spatial plans, the starting point is to add greenery wherever possible. Green areas will remain dark as much as possible for the benefit of nocturnal animals. In the larger green areas, in particular it will be established where darkness is the starting point.
- To make the rest of Nijmegen a more liveable place for many animal species, the city will draw up a plan to reduce light pollution (e.g. bat-friendly street lighting, lights on monuments/buildings will not be on all night long).
- Focus on pesticide-free, biodiverse design and management of existing and new green areas in Nijmegen (especially native, organically grown plants). The municipality builds expertise, trains its employees in this field of knowledge, and establishes concrete guidelines for design and management of green spaces.
- Add edible plants to public green spaces.
- Investigate the possibilities for a tile tax to combat soil sealing in private gardens, which exacerbates urban heat and complicates water management.
- For the development of new public green spaces, do not rely on initiatives from residents alone, but take the initiative in neighborhoods where more green space is most needed (e.g. because there are heat islands) and where citizens’ initiatives have not yet gotten off the ground.
5. Stop big polluters and make our air clear!
The Waalkade, the Sint Stevens church and the blue sky, every person in Nijmegen knows this beautiful view when you cross the Waal. However, what most don’t know is that the beautiful sky is polluted.
In big parts of Nijmegen the amount of particulate matter in the air is twice as high as the norms of the World Health Organization. Concentrations of nitrogen oxides are high as well and companies alongside the canal pollute different carcinogens.
About 15000 people in Nijmegen suffer from asthma. They face daily struggles because air quality is very poor. The large numbers of fine particles in the air, causes COPD, heart and vascular diseases as well as lung cancer. The GGD estimated that, on average, a person living in Nijmegen will live 420 days shorter because of bad air quality .
Fostering public health and protecting the environment is a constitutional duty of the government. Because of economic interests and no clear vision on an alternative, greener economy, companies exert undue influence on policies. For these companies, only profit counts and little attention is paid to the long term consequences. The municipality must therefore start working more independently and take tougher actions against polluting companies. For that reason, we have the following demands:
- Immediately close the most polluting companies such as the asphalt plant and the iron foundry. The 0.07% of the job offers (in total of the Rijk van Nijmegen) that will be freed because of this measure can be transformed into sustainable jobs. Examples that are connected to the demands are jobs in sustainable construction or energy transition.
- Invest in the supervision of climate legislation and let polluters pay for it.
- Leave all the covenants and collaborations with fossil companies.
- Prohibit advertisements for fossil companies in public areas. For example, Amsterdam has taken the first steps in this .
- Commit to a transition to electric shipping: companies in the harbour can only enter with electric ships.
- Mandate the use of shore power (instead of diesel aggregate on board) for shipping in Nijmegen.
- Prohibit industrial burning of biomass in the municipality and prohibit private wood burning. A first step can also be the taxation of private wood burning.
- Make fireworks in its entirety and permanently prohibited.
Furthermore, also cars significantly to the bad air quality in Nijmegen. These will be discussed in demand 7.
6. Switch to a sustainable bank!
The municipality of Nijmegen has been a customer of ING since 2015. That bank invests 2.3 billion dollars a year in fossil companies such as Shell. Our money on the bank account of the municipality is thus an important factor in the climate crisis. For example, it is being used for new pipes in Canada to enhance oil extraction in indigenous living areas, or for the construction of coal power plants in Indonesia .
We would like to see this change! The municipality is responsible for us and our future. The savings of the municipality should be handled with that responsibility in mind. Transitioning to a sustainable bank such as BNG Bank will be a step in which that responsibility is reflected. Furthermore, the municipality can invest in the energy transition by, for example, financing solar panels on roofs in Nijmegen.
7. Free public transport and fewer cars in the city!
Transportation by privately-owned car is still dominant in Nijmegen, but very inefficient. It costs a lot of energy and takes up a lot of space. The space taken up by the car comes at the expense of greenery and the quality of life on the street. Cars also contribute a significant share to air pollution locally, but also globally by contributing to the greenhouse effect. In addition, the cars are responsible for making public spaces less safe and there are many traffic fatalities every year. In short, fewer privately-owned cars means more room for green space and a safer, cleaner, and more livable city.
The STOP principle  offers an alternative. Private car ownership can be replaced by walking, cycling, public transport, and shared means of transport such as electric cargo bicycles. Currently, initiatives for the transport transition are not substantial enough. Currently almost all traffic infrastructure is optimised for cars, making other options simply less attractive. Of course, Nijmegen cannot bring about a mobility transition on its own. But it can set an example for other cities.
Nijmegen has already taken some steps in the right direction in recent years. There are express cycle routes to Arnhem, Cuijk and Beuningen. However, cycling infrastructure is still insufficiently interconnected. Moreover, bicycle paths are under great pressure as the range of bicycles on offer is becoming increasingly diverse. Think of cargo bicycles (dimensions) and speed pedelecs (speed). In short, the bicycle requires more space.
The discussion about high quality public transport has stalled. The public transit stop at the Waal bridge might end up relatively distant from the central commercial area, while a boost to public transport is urgently needed. Space for bicycles and public transport can be created by a further reduction of car traffic and development of good alternatives.
Therefore we ask:
- Make public transport available free of charge and ensure that it is accessible to all. In the long term, this will result in savings because of the societal effects.
- Create separate bus lanes for public transport everywhere so that there will be room in the future to build higher-quality systems. Separate bus lanes must be built on current roadways to prevent their construction being at the expense of green space.
- Improve connections between Nijmegen and areas like Beuningen, Groesbeek, Kleve and Bemmel and make sure there is a public transit stop within walking distance for everyone.
- Decrease the parking standards and use the freed-up space for greenery. Make room for cyclists and for a public system of light electric transportation. Make shared electric vehicles available such as cargo bikes, scooters and, if necessary, cars.
- Strongly pursue the policy of developing express cycle routes. For example towards Groesbeek, Elst, Millingen, Kranenburg/ Kleve and Bemmel/ Gendt.
- Designate residential streets as bicycle streets from now on. Investigate the possibility of turning entire neighborhoods into cycling districts.
- Widen bicycle paths along major roads and truly separate them from the road — paint is not infrastructure! —, if necessary, by narrowing the car lane or introducing one-way traffic.
- Immediately and proactively designate important school routes used by many schoolchildren as bicycle streets.
- Reconsider the intended location for a central bus stop. The proposed location at Trajanus Square is too far from the central commercial area; especially compared to the parking garages. The bus passenger should be dropped off closer to the stores than the motorist.
- Consult with the university, RadboudUMC and other busy buildings to install guarded bicycle parking there. This is more important than ever now that electric bikes are increasingly popular with bicycle thieves.
- Make a strong case for reopening the rail link to Kleve
8. Introduce the Donut Economy in Nijmegen: ecological, social & circular!
Our society is based on an economic system where infinite growth is the ultimate goal. But not everyone benefits from this system and the massive use of resources is bad for our planet. This needs to change. The Donut Model, developed by Kate Raworth, assumes a new system where the economy stays in a circle/’donut’ rather than an upward trend. The model assumes an ecological ceiling and a social foundation. In the ‘dough’ of the donut there is a fair system which ensures that we can all participate fully and that we further limit climate change, biodiversity loss and air pollution. You can learn more about the Donut Economy in this TedTalk .
Amsterdam is the first city in the Netherlands to start doing this  We can learn from this and follow this good example in Nijmegen.
The Climate Coalition Nijmegen proposes to start with the following steps:
- Stop pursuing economic growth and switch to the donut model.
- Stimulate local, sustainable and social entrepreneurship and reduce the burden on entrepreneurs who contribute to this.
- Take steps and set goals to combat food waste; think of facilitating a food waste hub (verspillingshub) and an expansion of “Too Good To Go” initiatives.
- Develop a sustainable event policy: circular and waste-free(including no single use plastic). Only grant permits and subsidies if these sustainability requirements are met.
- Ensure that procurement and tendering are 100% circular and give priority to local and regional procurement of products and services.
- Make reuse and upcycling the norm: show a good example and make agreements about this with (semi-)public organizations, such as education, health care and housing corporations, etc.
- Investigate possibilities for the introduction of a local circular (digital) currency for alternative economy. An example of this is the Sardex in Sardinia.
9. All building projects should be truly sustainable, nature-inclusive and fair!
We are in the middle of a severe housing crisis and there is a lot of ongoing building activity. Many people cannot find a house – in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region alone there is a shortage of 60,000 houses . It is extremely important that everyone has access to healthy and affordable housing. However, we should also not forget that the construction sector is a major consumer of natural resources and energy in the Netherlands and thus a highly polluting sector. Solving the housing crisis offers an opportunity for nature-inclusive building, economical use of resources, CO2 storage in wood and the creation of new green areas. The municipality of Nijmegen must seize this opportunity.
We therefore demand of the municipality of Nijmegen:
- Ask critical questions when demolishing buildings and look honestly at how much new construction is really needed. Although compared to other cities the percentage of vacant buildings is low; in Nijmegen in 2021 5% of the office buildings, 5% of the retail buildings and 2% of the homes were vacant . Re-use, renovation, and conversion of vacant properties into housing should have priority over new construction. In most cases, more resources and energy can be saved by reusing existing buildings than by building new ones.
- From now on, all new buildings must be climate neutral. New housing must be built without a connection to the gas network and with sustainable and where possible bio-based materials. It must also be designed to be demountable and circular. 25% circularly developed housing as laid down in the Woondeal regio Arnhmen-Nijmegen  is not enough.
- Develop all new construction in a nature-inclusive way and adapt existing buildings in such a way that they become more nature-inclusive. In this way, buildings can help to create and maintain biodiverse living spaces. Green facades and roofs also help prevent flooding and urban heat, making our city more livable. Green roofs also combine very well with solar panels  – greenery can even increase the efficiency of solar panels. Housing projects often involve the construction or redevelopment of streets. This offers opportunities for more greenery and less asphalt. Nature-inclusive buildings are currently rare in development projects such as the Handelskade, Waalsprong or the Voerweg. Biologists, ecologists, and landscape architects must be given an important voice in the development process.
- Develop new buildings for social demand, not for profit. Listen to the demands of the housing manifesto and the Nijmegen housing protest [ 21].
- If buildings do get demolished, the raw materials should be systematically inventoried, preserved and reused. Primary raw materials are finite; thus the reuse of raw materials is essential. Construction waste is already widely reused, but mostly in the form of downcycling: the quality and functionality of the materials deteriorate. This should not be counted as circular.
10. Sustainable and healthy food for all!
An average Dutch family contributes more to climate change through its meat consumption than through its total mobility. But where the government has a keen eye for transport, it has long seemed to have a blind spot for food in all its aspects. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, and the Nijmegen city council has also recently adopted an initiative proposal to establish a food policy for the municipality of Nijmegen .
There are numerous initiatives in the municipality and in neighboring municipalities to grow local and sustainable food and we think it is important that these pioneers are fully supported by the municipality). At the same time, there are still many people in the city with an unhealthy and unsustainable diet. The cause is sometimes a lack of information, but also the high price of healthy food. Junk foods high in sugar and fat are cheaper than healthy and sustainable products, which means that especially people with a low income have no or limited access to healthy and sustainable food. Besides a focus on the production of local and sustainable food, there must also be an eye for a fair distribution of this food among the residents of Nijmegen. The food policy should also focus on this. Brussels can serve as a source of inspiration here .
Therefore, we ask the municipality:
- Deploy the zoning plan / environmental plan to prevent large concentrations of fast-food establishments.
- Formulate a policy to further stimulate the local and sustainable production of food.
- Set up a project whereby people who depend on the food bank can get involved in growing healthy produce for the food bank as a step towards employment (without coercion of course).
- Like energy advisors, there should be food advisors for people who need them.
- Join the Belgian initiative of “Thursday veggie day” to promote vegetarian food at least one day a week. The municipality seeks partners such as restaurants, stores, various canteens, etc.
- Where possible, green spaces will be laid out with edible greenery, such as fruit and nut trees.
- Besluitenlijst 20 October 2021, zie p. 16 (noodtoestand voor klimaat), p. 25 (noodtoestand voor biodiversiteit). Geraadpleegd op https://ris2.ibabs.eu/Reports/ViewListEntry/Nijmegen/76ac770d-37d1-41a3-90ec-483e7e4be54c
- An Open letter to the Global Media by Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakete. Geraadpleegd op: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/10/30/open-letter-global-media-greta-thunberg-and-vanessa-nakate
- Meer dan een inspraakavond, beter dan een referendum: met deze democratische vernieuwing kan de burger zélf beleid maken Geraadpleegd op https://decorrespondent.nl/11707/meer-dan-een-inspraakavond-beter-dan-een-referendum-met-deze-democratische-vernieuwing-kan-de-burger-zelf-beleid-maken/1290216763-753ad347#Wat
- Energieverbruik en duurzame energie Nijmegen. Geraadpleegd op https://swm2021-nijmegen.pcportal.nl/p50365/energieverbruik-en-duurzame-energie
- CE Delft. Wie profiteert van het klimaatbeleid? Verdeling van subsidies en belastingkortingen tussen armere en rijkere huishoudens. Geraadpleegd op: https://ce.nl/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CE_Delft_7L42_Wie_profiteert_van_het_klimaatbeleid_def.pdf
- TNO Energiearmoede kaart Nijmegen. Geraadpleegd op https://www.tno.nl/nl/aandachtsgebieden/energietransitie/roadmaps/systeemtransitie/de-sociale-aspecten-van-de-energietransitie/energiearmoede/
- Zonnepanelen voor huurders en VvE’s. geraadpleegd op https://www.consumentenbond.nl/zonnepanelen/zonnepanelen-voor-huurders
- Over zonnepanelen op appartementencomplexen. Geraadpleegd op https://solarmagazine.nl/nieuws-zonne-energie/i25113/dde-vidosol-plaatst-zonnepanelen-op-5-appartementencomplexen-woningcorporatie-vidomes
- Over een duitse gemeente die daken van appartementencomplexen pacht om daarop zonnedaken te laten realiseren. Geraadpleegd op https://www.sfv.de/gemeinde-pachtet-daecher-von-mehrfamilienhaeusern
- De Groenste Energieleverancier. Geraadpleegd op https://www.consumentenbond.nl/energie-vergelijken/de-groenste-energieleverancier
- Rapport “Naar een gezonde Lucht in Gelderland”. Geraadpleegd op https://geopub.prvgld.nl/Luchtkwaliteit_buurt/Naar%20een%20gezonde%20lucht%20in%20Gelderland%20update%202017.pdf
- Geen reclame voor fossiele producten in de Amsterdamse metrostations. Geraadpleegd op https://www.amsterdam.nl/bestuur-en-organisatie/college/wethouder/marieke-doorninck/persberichten/reclame-fossiele-producten-amsterdamse/
- ING Netherlands – Related Dodgy Deals. Geraadpleegd op https://www.banktrack.org/bank/ing#dodgy_deals
- STOP-principe. Geraadpleegd op https://www.duurzame-mobiliteit.be/nieuws/stop-principe-stappers-trappers-openbaar-vervoer-en-prive-gemotoriseerd-vervoer
- TedTalk van Kate Raworth over de Donut Economie: https://www.ted.com/talks/kate_raworth_a_healthy_economy_should_be_designed_to_thrive_not_grow?language=nl
- Amsterdam Donut Coalitie: https://amsterdamdonutcoalitie.nl/
- Leegstand van vastgoed in Nederland en per gemeente. Geraadpleegd op https://amsterdamdonutcoalitie.nl/
- Woondeal regio Arnhem-Nijmegen. Geraadpleegd op https://www.regioan.nl/woondeal/woondeal
- Kenniscluster Arnhem koppelt groen en zon. Geraadpleegd op https://edepot.wur.nl/258915
- Het Woonmanifest. Geraadpleegd op https://woonmanifest.nl/
- Nijmeegse Woonprotest – onze eisen. Geraadpleegd op https://nijmeegsewoonprotest.nl/
- Initiatiefvoorstel – Duurzaam Voedsel uit eigen omgeving. Geraadpleegd op https://ris2.ibabs.eu/Reports/ViewListEntry/Nijmegen/03a2de1e-38cf-4f59-affe-8319c735b985
- Van de boer naar het boord in Brussel. Geraadpleegd op https://leefmilieu.brussels/themas/voeding/van-de-boer-naar-het-bord/verdelen-verkopen-korte-keten