The Dutch should use the cash raised by auctioning carbon dioxide emissions to compensate both businesses and consumers for the cost of CO2 reduction efforts, according to economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven.
The minister’s comments, in today’s Financieele Dagblad, follow the publication of the European Commission’s new energy plans yesterday.
Under the EC proposals, power producers will have to buy emission rights via an auction system from 2013. The cash from this auction – estimated at around €50 bn in 2020 – will divided among member states. How much the Netherlands will receive has not yet been worked out, said the FD.
Dutch business organisations told the paper that they are unhappy with the proposals saying it will cost them around €5 bn to buy CO2 emission rights. ‘This billion-euro carrousel takes away the money companies need to invest in energy efficiency and hounds them out of the country,’ VNO-NCW and MKB told the paper.
According to environment minister Jacqueline Cramer, the Dutch cabinet has not yet decided how it will spend the money generated from the auctioning of emission rights. ‘We are doing this for the climate, not to raise money for the government,’ she told the FD.
Meanwhile, the EC plans also mean that the Netherlands will have to increase the amount of electricity it generates from renewable energy.
The current percentage is 2.6% but Brussels’ target for the country is 14% in 2020. The Netherlands itself has said it wants the figure to be 20%.
The EC says Dutch CO2 emissions must be down 16% in 2020 from 2005 levels.
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