• ‘Transport will be a total different concept in the future’

    The Netherlands’ national energy commissioner Ruud Koornstra makes no bones about it: ‘Holland is an unbelievably smart country. Technology is widely available and business cases are too good to be true. Now we must mobilize and implement so we can start to make serious progress with zero emissions in the transport sector. That’s what this ‘Ports and the City; Smart and Healthy’ conference has to offer.’

    Indeed, Koornstra believes the Dutch should be more proud of the fact that Nijmegen is the European Green Capital: ‘It’s a question of using the opportunities, working together on new technologies, such as innovations for storing and processing hydrogen. The proof of the pudding is eating it: if experiments and pilot projects lead to the acceptance of innovations, then perhaps inland shipping will provide clean energy storage and factories in the future.’      

    Global challenges and Dutch solutions
    Ruud Koornstra was elected the first national energy commissioner by a variety of people: celebrities, scientists, politicians, professionals but most of all citizens. He knows how to mobilize and inspire stakeholders and decision-makers, and he is a great influencer. As one of the keynote speakers at the ‘Ports and the City: Smart and Healthy’ conference, he will convey the message that the Dutch invent great technology but are slow starters. 

    Finance and accountants
    According to Ruud the inland shipping sector has to start counting and  developing financial solutions because in the long term sustainable energy will turn out to be extremely profitable and provide a wealth of opportunities. ’If you can count, you make the switch to renewables’, said Peter Bakker, chairman WBCCSD Genève, in an interview recently. ‘In the end, it’s the economics of sustainability that will save the world. That is true for the inland shipping sector as well. Only a clean sector will be future-proof, and it would be a huge shame to wait.’