Dutch environment policy is outdated and short-term, says agency

The Netherlands’ environmental policy needs a complete overhaul because it is out of date in many areas, according to the government’s environmental assessment agency PBL.

The policy of successive governments has been short-term without a vision for the future, the report says.

For example, old coal-fired power stations are being used to burn biomass to meet 2020 green energy targets but nothing is being invested in developing a long-term sustainable energy supply, the report states.

New technology

If Dutch industry is to catch up with the rest of the world, the Netherlands must invest massively in developing new technology. This could be done, for example, by setting up a special investment fund using the proceeds of natural gas sales.

‘Society is not based on a sustainable model and that makes us vulnerable,’ PBL director Maarten Hajer is quoted as saying.

‘The big challenge for the environment in the 21st century is to ensure citizens, companies and government take responsibility for solving problems, rather than dismiss the issues around climate, biodiversity and raw materials as nothing to do with them.’

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