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Knowledge café 'Gas extraction and geopolitics'

The gas prices have risen. With the phasing out of gas production from the Groningen field, we in the Netherlands are increasingly dependent on gas imports. Are we at the mercy of Russia because of this? There is a lot going on in the field of geopolitics. To learn more about gas and geopolitics, we invited Wendelmoet Boersema to explain this on November 11, 2021. She wrote the book Groningsgoud in which these themes are discussed in detail.


Wendelmoet is a Slavist and journalist, born and raised in Groningen. As a correspondent for Trouw, Elsevier and BNR, she covered the first years of the Putin regime. In her book, Wendelmoet reconstructs the history behind the fault lines from which the province of Groningen suffers so much. Groningsgoud tells the story of Groningen gas, the Russians, and geopolitics. It received a nomination for 'best political book of 2021' by the Prinsjesfestival.


After the lecture, at the  hand of two pitches and a number of statements, the panel discussion opened. Prof. Dr. Dirk Jan Wolffram and Dr. Nienke Busscher had a place in the panel. Dirk Jan is professor of history of governance and politics in modern times at the University of Groningen. He explained his view on the administrative and political situation in Groningen and what considerations should be made in the energy transition. He stated that in Groningen, the province should bear much more administrative responsibility for claims handling and reinforcement. He also argued for the faster implementation of the energy transition to reduce dependence on Russian gas.  Nienke has conducted research into environmental justice in Argentina, and currently works as project coordinator of the Knowledge Platform Leefbaar and Kansrijk Groningen. She provided insight into the social consequences of gas extraction and how you can analyze the gas case and the energy transition in Groningen from an environmental justice perspective. She argued, among other things, that the interests of citizens have been subordinated for too long with regard to gas extraction in Groningen. From the perspective of environmental justice, energy production should strive for a better balance between government, business and citizens.

After the panel discussion, there was time to ask questions. The Knowledge Café was led by Rika Pot , former mayor of several municipalities in the earthquake area. 

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