Plea for a Cooperation Programme for Rapid Energy Savings by and for citizens, companies and government:
Five billion cubic metres less natural gas within a year

15 Mar 2022 | News | by Kees van der Leun

It has never been clearer that we have to radically green our energy supply: there’s a climate crisis, we’re dependent on violent dictators, and energy bills are going sky-high. This is the moment to swing into action together.

Rapid energy savings and switching to renewable energy are the only structural way forward, solving many problems at the same time. If we do this together, we can rapidly achieve a lot. All our organisations have many tips and solutions for this. We are ready to help citizens and companies.


Billions of cubic metres of gas can be saved just by only heating and lighting rooms in which people are present. The thermostat and heating boiler can be set to lower temperatures, heating and lighting can be controlled in a more efficient way. A host of small measures directly lead to lower gas consumption: e.g. door closers and draught excluders. This is true for companies and industry as well, e.g. by applying insulation to heating pipes and hot pipelines. Work at home on Fridays to save on travel kilometres and then turn off the heating at work. We can save a lot of oil by using public transport and the bicycle, driving slower, keeping our tyres at the right pressure, driving electrically and by car sharing.


We notice that the urgency and the desire to ‘do something’ are now so big that many people and companies have come into action already. Fortunately! Let’s strengthen that together and help each other. That’s why we call for a Cooperation Programme for Rapid Energy Savings. Because everyone can contribute to reducing our energy consumption.

We are looking forward to going all out to kickstart the radical change that’s needed, together with the government. We call for a goal to reduce our natural gas consumption by five billion cubic metres within one year.


We call for a joint campaign of governments, companies, societal organisations and experts, with the following actions:

1.       Start an active information campaign with weekly press conferences, in which the situation is explained, what’s going to happen, and who needs to do what. And: what can you do yourself, what will the effect be, who can help you?

2.       Make profitable investments in companies and industry obligatory: all energy savings with a payback time of less than five years have to be carried out. Actively enforce the existing law, and expand it to cover more companies and institutions, and renewable generation as well.

3.       Set a good example as government by saving energy in own buildings and operations, and ask the same from suppliers and organisations receiving subsidies.

4.       Help people and companies, visit homes and business parks. Invest in energy coaches, energy boxes, and energy co-operatives to get people going. Organise collective actions, together with neighbours or companies. Invest in capacity and education!

5.       Ensure that all subsidies are fully accessible for everyone. Guarantee that the budget is sufficient for all applications, and make all schemes as accessible as possible, for example by also subsidizing individual insulation measures and providing interest-free pre-financing. It is essential now to help out low-income households. Therefore, conclude agreements with housing associations for the fastest possible actions for tenants.

6.       Monitor the approach and the effects. To what extent are we on course to achieve the goal of reducing natural gas demand by five billion cubic metres? Bring the actions together in a plan, make them quantitative, follow the progress in all areas, map what’s keeping the speed down, address those barriers and solve them.


The Cooperation Programme will have a light and action-oriented structure. Representatives of societal organisations, companies and governments will get together on a weekly basis, together with a number of creative and motivated experts. Here they tell about their own actions, the results and the barriers they encounter. Together, solutions and new elements are developed. And we’ll continue until the goal has been reached.  







Arie Koornneef, ASN Bank

San Lie, ASN Impact Investors

Roel Woudstra, Buurkracht

Siward Zomer, Energie Samen

Ehssane Gounou, Essent

Marieke van Doorninck, City of Amsterdam

Emile Puttmann, Greenchoice

Andy Palmen, Greenpeace

Aniek Moonen, Jonge Klimaatbeweging

Gijs Termeer, Klimaatstichting HIER

Petra Lettink, Klimaatverbond

Thijs van Mierlo, LSA bewoners

Ika van de Pas, Milieu Centraal

Maria van der Heijden, MVO Nederland (over 2,000 companies for a new economy)

Marjolein Demmers, Natuur & Milieu

Annie van de Pas, Natuur- en Milieufederaties

Olof van der Gaag, Nederlandse Vereniging Duurzame energie (representing over 6,000 companies in renewable energy)


Maarten Derksen, DOEN Foundation

Alette Beerling, TAUW consulting and engineering

Michiel Kirch, TKI Urban Energy

Kees Vendrik, Triodos Bank

Marjan Minnesma, Urgenda

Jolande ter Meulen, Vattenfall




Kornelis Blok - professor of Energy Systems Analysis, Delft University of Technology

Felia Boerwinkel - Programmamanager, Centre of Expertise Urban Technology

Mark Boneschanscher - Managing Director, Institute for Renewable Energy Systems/ Eindhoven University of Technology

Wouter Botzen - hoogleraar economie van klimaatverandering, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Andy van den Dobbelsteen - Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability, Sustainability coordinator, Delft University of Technology

Seraina Grünewald - Chair for European and Comparative Financial Law, Financial Law Centre, Radboud Business Law Institute/ Faculty of Law, University of Nijmegen

Anke van Hal - professor sustainable buildings, Nyenrode

Renée Heller - professor energy & innovation, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

John Kerkhoven – managing director, Kalavasta

Lisette Klok - lecturer/researcher Urban Climate Adaptation, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Jeroen Kluck - professor of Water in and around the City, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Kees van der Leun – managing director, Common Futures

Derk Loorbach - hoogleraar sociaal-economische transities, directeur DRIFT, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Karen Maas - Academic Director, Impact Centre Erasmus, Professor of Accounting & Sustainability, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Pieter Pauw - internationale klimaatpolitiek en klimaatfinanciering, FS-UNEP Centre of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Reint Jan Renes - professor psychology for sustainable cities, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Margot Ribberink, Weather woman

Frans Rooijers – managing director, CE Delft

Richard van de Sanden - Scientific Director, Institute for Renewable Energy Systems/ Eindhoven University of Technology

Rens van Tilburg, Universiteit Utrecht