Sunday 18 April 2021

Dutch greenhouse emissions rise as economy continues to grow

Traffic is a major source of inner city pollution. Photo: Depositphotos.com

There was a 1% rise in the amount of greenhouse gases discharged into the atmosphere by Dutch companies, cars and households last year, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

This is in line with developments in previous years and takes the decline in greenhouse gas emissions to just 11% compared with 1990, the CBS said.

The Netherlands is supposed to cut emissions by 25% compared with 1990 in three years time.

‘Industry produced more and that means more emissions,’ researcher Cor Pierik told broadcaster NOS. ‘The chemicals industry was a main contributor, as was the amount of energy used in offices and homes.’

Dutch power stations also produced record volumes of electricity last year, further adding to greenhouse gas emissions. However, less coal and more gas was used in energy production.

Court cases

In 2015, judges in The Hague said the Dutch government must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared with 1990. The landmark Urgenda legal case was brought by 886 Dutch citizens who said the government is not doing enough to avoid climate change.

Last month, environmental organisation Milieudefensie also went to court calling for immediate action to improve air quality.

The organisation’s lawyer Phon van den Biesen told the court that tens of thousands of people die prematurely in the Netherlands every year because of air pollution. In addition, the Netherlands is breaking EU guidelines, he said.

Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are all in the top 12 of most polluted European cities and last year air quality deteriorated further, the organisation claims

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