Dutch will wind down coal-fired power stations to cut pollution: NOS

The Dutch government was sued after it decided to shut its coal-fired power stations. Photo: Depositphotos.com
Coal fired power stations could close earlier. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The cabinet is to press ahead with plans to wind down electricity production at the three remaining Dutch coal-fired power stations in an effort to further cut carbon dioxide emissions, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday.

Ministers will now start talks with Riverstone and RWE who own the plants – two on the Maasvlakte near Rotterdam and one in Eemshaven in Groningen, NOS said, without quoting sources. Closure of one power station is also an option, combined with scaling down the others.

Other plans include grants to help greenhouse growers shift to led lighting and for households who hand in old fridges and freezers, NOS said. Officials also plan to invest more in recycling plastic.

Economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said after last Friday’s cabinet meeting that the government would miss its April 1 deadline to come up with plans to slash pollution because of ‘other priorities’.

Last December the Dutch Supreme Court ruled the state is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of its people, under the European treaty of human rights, ending a seven year legal process.

The ruling means that the government must now reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 25% by the end of this year when compared with 1990.

Meanwhile corona protection measures mean that Dutch air pollution has dropped by between 20% and 60%, according to satellite measurements published by the KNMI.

NOS said the entire package is expected to be published later this month.

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