Gas money should go to sea defences

The billions of euros earned from Holland’s natural gas reserves should be pumped into a special fund to protect the country against rising sea levels, a government commission is due to recommend today, reports the AD.

From 2011, between €1bn and €1.5bn should be set aside for flood defences every year, the Delta commission will say in its long-awaited report.
‘In this way you would avoid all the bickering about finances in the cabinet and in parliament,’ a source told the paper.
The commission is also set to recommend that the Dutch coast along large parts of the Noord and Zuid-Holland provinces should be made wider. The extra land will not only be good against flooding, but can be used for recreation purposes, the commission says.
The commission, led by former agriculture minister Cees Veerman, has based its calculations on a one metre-rise in the sea level this century.

National importance

The report will be formally presented to prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende this afternoon. The hand-over will be shown live on television because it is of ‘national importance’, reports Trouw.
A short film will ‘make the danger that awaits our country because of climate change clear to every Dutch person’, Trouw says.
Koos van Oord, a member of the supervisory board at dredging firm Van Oord which last month published a €20bn plan to widen the Dutch coast by three kilometres, is one of the members of the Delta commission.

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