Transition Day 2023: An integral approach to the circular energy transition

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The transition towards a circular economy and the energy transition are both needed to reach a sustainable economy and society. The two are intertwined, as the materials needed for the energy transition (such as solar panels) are enormous and the speed of the energy transition is very dependent on the availability of sustainable raw materials, scarce earth metals and biomass. An integral approach is needed in the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam.

Metropolitan Region Amsterdam (MRA), City of Amsterdam, Province of North Holland (PNH) and Amsterdam Economic Board commit to actively stimulating this integral approach. In the session on the Transition day, we explored what the current connection or disconnection is between the two transitions in order to define the best next step.

Insights of the session

Led by Marielle de Bloois of Royal HaskoningDHV, all participants drew the current situation of both transitions. By explaining our drawings to each other, we all got new insights into the current situation and barriers between the two transitions. The main findings, visualised by Thomas van Daalen of Flatland are:

  • There is enormous attention for the energy transition in terms of money, people and communication;
  • There is only little attention for circular economy whilst the urgency is nothing less;
  • People working on the transitions are working in separate teams with little connection whilst they are working on the same societal challenges;
  • The circular economy is unknown and complex. If people want to connect the transitions they don’t know where to start;
  • We have to rethink and link our narrative and connect people working on both transition and connect solutions.

The next steps

The session has led us to valuable new insights, and the participants are ready to take the next steps. For now, we have agreed on the following:

  • The participants from the municipality of Haarlemmermeer will internally make a connection with their colleagues working on the energy transition.
  • Eurofiber will dive deeper into available knowledge within their organisation.
  • Edwin from the MRA will take the lead in setting up an approach with Province of North Holland, City of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Economic Board to make sure the topic of the circular energy transition will be part of the MRA agenda 2024.
  • Amsterdam Smart City will keep the topic on the agenda and connect the right people around it.