Hamburg citizens panel on sustainable consumption makes three recommendations

  • cooperation
  • environment

On 11 February, Hamburg citizens were invited to participate in a panel discussion and workshop about sustainable consumption and responsibility and develop proposals to put forward for discussion at European level.

While environmental issues and climate change are centre stage as hot topics in the media and public space there are, simultaneously, excessive and rising consumption levels. Hamburg's objective was to raise awareness and encourage public discourse about this paradox.

After hearing from an expert panel, citizens were split into different working groups to discuss three sub-topics: clean air and mobility, clothing and fashion and food and nutrition, and to develop constructive solutions. After short pitches, participants voted for the three most popular solutions.

Four speakers were invited to take part in the event:

  • Dr Annette Tabbara, state secretary, Hamburg, opened the event
  • Kathrin Schmid, broadcaster, NDR (local media channel)
  • Hugo Schally, head, sustainable production, products and consumption unit, European Commission
  • Manfred Braasch, managing director, BUND (Friends of the Earth), Hamburg
  • Dr Delia Schindler, member, social responsibility committee, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

At the end of the consultation, the panel put forward three recommendations:

1. Transparent and appropriate pricing of clothes. In the future, real prices should be charged for all garments, this means prices that not only include production costs but also external costs such as ecological and social costs.
2. Fair pricing for public transport. This would ideally involve the establishment of a cheap unit price for every citizen, as in Vienna where citizens pay €365 per year. With their GO-Card citizens who pay the price for a year are able to get through turnstiles to board any train, subway or bus.
3. A new approach to EU agricultural subsidies. Only farms with ecological and sustainable practices should be entitled to EU subsidies. Also, the principle of calculating subsidies according to acreage should be replaced by the principle of supporting small and middle-sized, as well as local, farms.

These citizens' proposals, together with those from other panel events taking place across Europe until the end of February, will be presented at the second mayors summit on the future of Europe on 20 and 21 March 2019.

As part of the mayors summit, which will take place two months ahead of the European Parliament elections in the presence of more than 100 city politicians, EUROCITIES and the European Commission will present the panel results to national and European political leaders.

EUROCITIES staff contact

Marta MarcuzziMembership coordinator & EA to the Sec Gen

EUROCITIES staff contact

Nicola Vatthauer