Friday 14 May 2021

New Dutch government won’t meet its climate change targets: advisory body

The new Dutch government will not meet its climate change targets if the coalition agreement alone is used as the basis for policy, the Netherlands’ Environmental Assessment Agency said on Monday.

The measures outlined in the coalition plans will only have half the impact the government hopes and additional action will be needed to meet targets, the PBL advisory body said in a new report.

The PBL is part of the economic affairs and climate ministry and carried out the analysis of the new government’s plans on behalf of opposition parties, led by the left-wing greens GroenLinks.

The cabinet target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 49% on their 1990 level by 2030, but that is unlikely to be more than 35% to 42%, the PBL said.

Ministers have two major strategies – carbon capture and storage and the closure of the remaining coal-fired power stations.


However, the PBL points out, carbon capture is still in its infancy and it will cost so much money that there is nothing left for other projects to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Other parts of government policy, such as the wish to ensure all new cars are emission free, are so uncertain that the PBL has not taken the potential impact into account.

In addition, all the prognoses are uncertain because they are strongly dependent on European measures, the PBL said.

For example, the cabinet says that closing power stations will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 million tonnes, but depending on what happens in the European electricity market, the reduction could be as low as eight million tonnes or as high as 16 million tonnes, the PBL said.

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