Engagement starts now: the honours program Inclusive Energy Transition

In the coming years, more and more will be asked of citizens to combat climate change. The energy transition plays a major role in our society's climate ambitions. How do we ensure that as many people as possible will be involved in a transition that affects us all? An inclusive energy transition requires the development of interventions, policies and tools that are widely supported. Our students will play an important role in the success of the energy transition during their working lives. So why not start now? With this in mind, EUR presents the new honours program Inclusive Energy Transition.

Friday, November 10, marked the festive kick-off of the program. On this rainy afternoon, 21 students from the faculties Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus School of Social & Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus School of Economics and the Erasmus School of Philosophy gathered for a first acquaintance with the social partners with whom they will collaborate on an inclusive energy transition over the next 8 months. This year's partner organizations are Eneco, Greenchoice, NCOD, TNO, Province of South Holland and the Municipality of Barendrecht.

Inclusive program on inclusive energy transition

The world is facing a serious climate problem with all its consequences. A major cause of our climate problem is the current unsustainable energy system, in which fossil sources are central. To achieve a sustainable energy system requires a system change. In the coming years, more and more will be asked of citizens to combat climate change. For the energy transition to succeed, it is important that everyone can participate. Unfortunately, today we see the first signs that the energy transition is widening socioeconomic disparities, as lower income earners are struggling to keep up with the transition.

In this honours program, we value all voices and believe in the power of diversity and inclusion. Therefore, our students will work on issues such as equity in energy policy, the availability of sustainable products for different income groups, as well as topics such as energy poverty and the barriers people experience in making their homes more sustainable. Because inclusion is high on the agenda, our community partners donated a contribution to a fund through which each student receives a monthly compensation of 200 euros. With this, we aim to make the program accessible to all students.

The kick-off

On Friday, November 10, the promising kick-off took place where the 21 students and 5 partner organizations met for the first time. Jasper Eshuis and Jacky Verhulst welcomed the participants during a plenary session, followed by a poster round in which the students could get acquainted with the issues around the energy transition. During the kick-off, the partners presented the challenges they face in practice. How can you ensure a fair distribution of the joys and burdens of the energy transition? How do you make green choices available to everyone? And what is an effective way to involve the residents of a residential area in your plans? These are a few examples of the complex issues our students will get to sink their teeth into in the coming academic year.

In the program students from various disciplines collaborate with partners from different sectors in energy transitions with one goal in mind: to work together to achieve an inclusive energy transition. It promises to be a fascinating program in which students will challenge themselves to contribute to the energy transition.

The Inclusive Energy Transition honours program is sponsored by Vital Cities and Citizens and Impact at the Core.

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