Doubts over Dutch CO2 target, setbacks make 2020 deadline ‘uncertain’

It is unclear if Dutch plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% compared to 1990 in three years time, according to a new report by research bureau CE Delft.

In 2015, a Dutch court ordered the government to reach the target and economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has twice told parliament that he expects it will be achieved.

Although a government report published in 2016 suggests the Netherlands will not make the target, Kamp said he would make up the shortfall with the underground storage of CO2, reducing the amount of phosphates in farming and taking other steps.

According to CE Delft, however, developments since the report was published now make that unlikely. In particular, less wind energy is being produced than forecast and the Netherlands will import less energy than planned. Emissions generated by electricity producers abroad do not count toward the Dutch total. A project to store excess CO2 has also been stopped.

The analysis, commissioned by the Dutch sustainable energy association, shows it is ‘extremely uncertain’ that the current measures will meet the target, CE Delft said on its website.

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