Onderwerp scriptie

'Van het gas af': Communicating the energy transition in Dutch municipalities

The Netherlands government is working on a stringent climate policy, in which much of the responsibility for the implementation is delegated to the municipalities. Maybe even more that climate change, this policy is driven by the plans to stop gas production in Groningen to decrease the risk of earthquakes. Communicating about climate change (to raise awareness) and solutions to climate change (to get people to take action) is notoriously difficult.

In the Dutch ‘participation society' private citizens and business are supposed to play a key role in implementing climate policies and prepare for a future with no natural gas by 2030. But municipalities have difficulties getting them engaged, especially the young generations and families with children. They usually use “old” media. Which new strategies targeting different groups could overcome the barriers and induce action, possibly by using more the new, social media?

Research question

The energy transition in Dutch municipalities: how to effectively communicate with different societal groups?

The study includes qualitative desk research and interviews with people in the field (people from municipal governments, citizen and business groups) with the objective to design a communication strategy. Dependent on the length of the assignment and the interest of the proposed municipality cases, students may include the implementation of their proposed design.

What we can offer you

The student will be supervised by Rob Swart, a retired climate researcher from WUR active in a citizen’s energy transition programme in his home town Soest. In addition, support can be provided by Fokke de Jong, chair of the Duurzaam Soesterkwartier citizens’ initiative in neighbouring Amersfoort.

What are we looking for in a student

  • Have an understanding of the main causes and solutions to climate change and the energy transition
  • Interested in environmental communication at the local level.

Practical information

  • Start of the assignment: direct
  • Length (months/ days per week): to be discussed
  • Preferred language: Dutch
  • Location (country): the Netherlands