Frans Timmermans to visit Wageningen

The Euro commissioner for climate will deliver an address during a symposium on climate policy.
Frans Timmermans. Photo Shutterstock

Students from the Honours programme organise the Let’s Talk Climate Policy Symposium (7 December in Forum). The event focuses on ‘the challenges in the world of climate policy’. Frans Timmermans was invited to answer students’ questions and accepted the invitation. ‘We never expected he would.’

Bachelor students Eva van der Wolf (22, Nutrition and Health), Gerline van Beusekom (21, Biology) and Floris Helmendach (20, Molecular Life Sciences) are the symposium organisers. ‘We aim to discuss the challenges in solving the climate issues with a broad audience’, Helmendach says. In addition to employees and students from WUR, other people from Wageningen are also welcome at the event.  

The students organise the symposium as part of their honours programme. ‘We are required to organise something for our fellow students’, Helmendach states. ‘We were already working on the topic of the climate and were considering who would be the best person to invite. Frans Timmermans! He is the most influential person in the domain of climate policy. So, we e-mailed an invitation, and after a few calls back and forth, we were told he accepted.’

As a Euro commissioner, Frans Timmermans is responsible for the Green Deal, which is designed to ensure that Europe’s net greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to zero in 2050.

Pitches and questions

During the symposium, three honours students will each pitch a policy plan in front of Timmermans and the audience in three minutes, For example, for energy policy or sustainable food production. In between the pitches, the audience can ask questions, says Van Beusekom. ‘Of course, we have prepared several questions for Frans Timmermans, on the transition towards renewable energy sources, for example. This transition requires many scarce resources for, for example, batteries for EVs and solar panels. Many of these resources are mined in China. We want to know whether he thinks the energy transition will cause a greater dependence on China.’


Timmermans’ acceptance of their invitation came as a surprise to the organisers. ‘We never expected that. He must receive hundreds of invitations each day. The fact that he chooses to visit us is very special and a great honour.’

The symposium starts at 18.00 on 7 December in room C0222 in Forum. There is room for 225 guests. You may register and submit questions here.

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