The Dutch Diamond: Climate Action across Sectors

In the Netherlands, people like to refer to the Dutch Diamond when describing cooperation between government, the private sector, research institutions and civil society organisations.

This interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016. It is produced by Paul Müller-Hahl (Lichtbilder Filmproduktion) and directed by Stella Schaller (adelphi).


"I think it is important to connect the dots. Climate in itself is an umbrella term. It is something that without sectors, without themes, without particular organizations or levels of cooperation it is nothing. So you have to look at how different organizations can work together. For that you need many different stakeholders.


In the Netherlands, we like to use the term “Dutch diamond”.  The “Dutch diamond” has four corners: it is the public sector, it is the private sector, it is civil society and it is knowledge institutions. Between the four, many good things originate and I think it is important to use all those perspectives on this topic because from one single angle you will not solve it. As our foreign minister this morning said: We have to do things differently but we also have to do different things and those different things, many of them, are not invented yet. So we have to talk with each other to see what different things are we going to do and it is important to be very creative and think outside the box to find new solutions.

And for companies that could mean that you completely rethink what you are doing, sometimes new products, sometimes new ways of doing business. But the same goes for academia who maybe have to do completely different research because it has to be much more relevant to this changing society in which they operate. And looking at ourselves, the public sector, we may have to come up with different ways of regulating or coming up with new laws.

But talking about my own profession, diplomacy, it might mean that we have to talk to different stakeholders as well and to try to connect different people and different organizations to each other because they have been outside of this for too long and that is a huge challenge."