Sunday 16 May 2021

The Netherlands must end reliance on fossil fuels, professors say

The Netherlands must invest billions of euros in becoming a clean economy without reliance on fossil fuels, a group of 90 university professors say in an open letter in Monday’s Trouw.

The professors are calling on parliament to undergo a ‘radical change of heart’ and to develop a green economy. ‘The Netherlands is deeply rooted in the fossil economy and the transition to a new, clean economy is the big challenge of the coming decades,’ the letter states.

The professors make 12 recommendations for the next cabinet. These include closing the last five coal-fired power stations, bringing in road pricing, introducing a carbon dioxide tax for industry and higher taxes on energy intensive and environmentally-damaging production and consumption.

The professors say some €200bn will need to be invested in the shift to a green economy. As a start, the new cabinet should include a special ministry for energy and climate. The first job for the new environment minister will be to draw up new legislation with concrete targets, the professors say.

Four parties are currently in talks on forming a new government, including the left-wing green party GroenLinks.

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