In the border region, four “euroregions” are working together efficiently and with minimal red tape as part of the INTERREG Germany-Netherlands programme in order to safeguard energy supplies while at the same time drastically reducing CO2 emissions. Among them is the Rhine-Waal Euroregion, an association of 55 municipalities and regional authorities on both sides of the border. Ms Christianne van der Wal, deputy of the Province of Gelderland and member of the Monitoring Committee for the INTERREG programme said the following in this regard:
We can only address climate and energy challenges if all those involved cooperate. This is the case both nationally and internationally, particularly with respect to this issue. The climate and energy policies of Germany and the Netherlands are being implemented in the region. With INTERREG, the EU is supporting our entrepreneurs and scientific institutions in developing practical and innovative solutions.
Learning from one another: energy transition partner cities and joint water management
The cross-border partnerships are diverse and multifaceted. For instance, the German municipality of Steinhagen and the Dutch city of Woerden have been energy transition partner cities since this year. As part of a project supported by the Federal Foreign Office, the two cities want to learn from and with each other about how they can become climate neutral in the coming years.
The INTERREG project Cleantech Energy Crossing brings together German and Dutch companies, research institutions and municipalities, mainly in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia and the four neighbouring Dutch provinces. They are working together on the latest developments in energy storage, as well as in the area of heating and cooling technology.
The region is also already involved in tackling another important challenge, namely adapting to the possible impacts of climate change. The cities of Zutphen, Hengelo, Bocholt and Münster are joining forces to improve their protection against floods, extreme precipitation, water shortages and heat stress. They have jointly developed a strategy with 12 sub‑projects and are engaged in one‑to‑one cross‑border cooperation in order to offer each other the best possible support and find the best solutions.
Close government coordination on climate and energy policy
An ambitious energy and climate policy will also be an important priority of Germany’s EU Council Presidency in 2020. Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement in this regard:
Europe will play a decisive role in climate policy when the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement are reviewed for the first time next year. We Europeans must set standards with even more ambitious climate targets to ensure that Europe becomes the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
Germany and the Netherlands are also coordinating their climate and energy policies bilaterally to an ever increasing extent. On 22 August 2019, the climate cabinets of both countries met at The Hague under the leadership of the heads of government. The results of the meeting were presented in Berlin on 2 October at the German-Netherlands intergovernmental consultations.
Further information is available here: www.deutschland-nederland.eu