Rotterdam - The “most sustainable world port city"

Rotterdam plans to connect its climate adaptation strategies and ambitions to a strong economy and the collaborative process to become the most sustainable world port city: clean, green, safe and healthy. As an innovator in climate change strategy, including green energy production and CO2 storage, the city is committed to the knowledge sharing process at the regional and international level.


The Rotterdam Climate Initiative

The drivers of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative include the Port of Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam, the employers' organisation Deltalinqs and the Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025 and to make Rotter­dam 100% climate proof.

Just as important as setting a concrete future goal is to anchor climate change mitigation action as a “normal matter of course”. The Rotterdam approach is one of collaboration. Shops, businesses, institutions, housing associations, financiers and contractors are all able to contribute in the transition to green energy.

Innovating for Greener Energy

To an increasing extent, the city and port focus on developing new technologies and low-carbon and carbon-free energy flows and products. These include green roof projects, wind energy, solar energy and solid biomass and biofuels.



Rotterdam’s economy has traditionally been dependent on industries and use of fossil fuels. Given the need to move away from these, the city has recognised that its industrial past can form the basis for a greener future. There is an ideal business climate for the bio-based economy, due to the power plants, food industry, agro-industry and a petrochemical cluster that are situated in the area.

For industries that do still release higher amounts of CO2, the process of “Carbon Capture and Storage” (CCS) captures and stores emissions so they do not enter the atmosphere. The captured CO2 can be reused by some industries later by transferring it through a system of pipelines.

For future use of CCS, new economic and employment potential is created. In fact, the Rotterdam Capture and Storage Demonstration Project (ROAD) is one of the largest CCS projects in the world. From 2015, ROAD plans to capture 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year to store in a depleted gas reservoir under the North Sea.


The "Rotterdam mentality"

In short, there is optimism about the Climate Initiative's potential to improve the city and have an impact beyond that. In many ways this is put down to the uniqueness of Rotterdam and to the people that live, work and do business there.

As Rotterdam's Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb puts it:

"Reducing CO2 emissions by 50% in 2025, making sure that we are prepared for climate change, and boosting economic growth - together we can achieve these goals if we, as market parties, citizens and government authorities, pool resources and join forces. Our willingness and ability to put our backs into this is what makes this innovative collaboration an example in point of the Rotterdam mentality." 

Thanks goes to the City of Rotterdam and Nicolien Wirschell, Communications Manager

image Rotterdam Erasmus Bridge © Massimo Catarinella, Creative Commons