Ministers must make ‘drastic’ choices, environmental agency says

Cultivation of tulips in greenhouse  perspectiveMinisters will have to make drastic choices if they want to reach the pollution targets agreed in the Paris climate accord, the Dutch environmental assessment agency says in a new report.

In particular, much more needs to be done to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases, the agency says, adding that switching to sustainable sources and closing coal-fired power stations will not be enough.

Agriculture, aviation and shipping also need to make changes to help reach the targets, the agency said. Without change, these sectors will be responsible for most of the country’s CO2 emissions by 2050.

In June 2015, judges in The Hague ruled the Dutch government must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared with 1990 – in line with international agreements. But at current rates, cuts of only 17% will be achieved.

Agency director Hans Mommaas says that the forthcoming election campaign offers a perfect opportunity for the government to focus more on its environmental strategy.

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