In the mottle light of the upcoming COP21 conference in Paris, public figure Marjan Minnesma is walking from Utrecht, Netherlands, to the French capital to raise awareness of green values.
Along with a planned string of celebrities and other well known climate change figureheads, Marian embarked on her trek intending to walk 15-20km per day until she reaches the climate change conference.
The walk which will be documented across social media and Dutch television is in association to Urgenda, an organization renowned for its representation of citizens on green issues.
Urgenda, the group which Marjan is Director of, have been spearheading the climate discussion in the Netherlands since last year when they took the state of the Netherlands to court on climate output and won; the judgment being that the state of the Netherlands should have a duty of care to the Dutch people by reducing CO2 emissions by 25%.
Associated to the climate proceedings is Dutch province Friesland which supported Marjan and her cause by driving climate friendly vehicles to Utrecht to see her off on her trek. Euroscope spoke to Folkert Linnemans, an innovation manger for BGDD within Frysian, on how we could follow their lead on living a climate neutral life.
Like many regions associated to industrialised labour, Friesland has struggled to transition into new, green labour employment. ‘The people in Fryslân are reclining. We had the agricultural jobs in the past, then the industrial jobs.’
‘We need a green economy, just to get jobs still in the country otherwise people will go away’. There has been a fear in recent years that unemployment will lead to a long-term problem within the province. To counteract this, construction companies like BGDD have moved into climate-aware construction. ‘If you create houses that are climate neutral then you create jobs in the building industry’.
‘Urgenda is created to make everybody notice what’s going on. She says it’s an urgent problem. So she’s not doing it for herself, she’s doing to increase all of kind of awareness we need because it’s quite a big problem.’
Harmonisation of views cross-region seems to be spreading across the Netherlands. As the COP21 climate conference in Paris draws ever closer, causes like Climate Miles can only support the spread of green awareness.