The cabinet’s €28 billion climate package presented earlier this week is dividing opinion among business, environmental organisations and politicians alike.
The package, comprising 120 separate measures to combat climate change aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions by at least 55% by 2030, was described by environment minister Rob Jetten as ‘ambitious and fair’.
However, unconditional support seemed to come mainly from party and coalition colleagues, despite a number of loose ends, Volkskrant said in its report on the proposals.
In particular, Jetten did not go into the contribution which farmers will make to CO2 reductions, the paper pointed out. This, the paper said, cannot be divorced from D66’s wish to prop up an ailing cabinet which is in danger of foundering in the next elections.
The FD said in its analysis the cabinet has shied away from rigorous climate taxes, such a tax on flying, in favour of climate subsidies. But, the paper quoted ING economist Marieke Blom as saying, subsidies should not be used indiscriminately, and mainly to support new technology.
‘To convince people to buy green, fossil alternatives should be made more expensive,’ she said.
In the AD, motoring organisation Bovag criticised the plan to spend €600 million on making second hand electric cars cheaper and raise taxes on new ones. ‘That will put people off,’ BOVAG said.
The agency also raised doubts about increasing a tax which will become obsolete anyway because it is based on CO2 emissions, which are nil for electric cars.
Small firm organisation MKB Nederland and employers organisation VNO-NCW told NOS that a higher tax on gas would be unfair on those who are not yet in a position to switch to an alternative. It is ‘doing nothing to bring climate goals nearer,’ chairman Jacco Vonhof told the broadcaster.
NOS quoted GroenLinks opposition MP Suzanne Kröger as saying that the package was ‘unconvincing’and lacked ‘the drive that is needed for climate policy’ while PVV leader Geert Wilders said the plans are ‘excessive and unaffordable’.
Environmental organisation Greenpeace said the plans were ‘a step in the right direction’ but that speed is of the essence if the Netherlands is to do its bit to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees.
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