The Netherlands will stop drilling for gas under Groningen province by 2030, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday during his weekly press conference.
Describing the decision as ‘extremely important’, Rutte told reporters that the impact of the gas extraction – the earthquakes – are no longer acceptable and that ‘safety has priority’.
New energy sources are being developed, agreement with industry has been reached on phasing out gas and measures are being taken to reduce the use of gas by private households, he said. Exports to other countries are also being wound down.
Economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes told reporters later that gas production will be decreased in stages and should be under 12 billion cubic metres by October 2022 at the latest.
The state mining inspectorate said in February that production should be slashed to 12 billion cubic metres as quickly as possible.
#Ministerraad heeft besloten stapsgewijs over te gaan tot volledige beëindiging van gaswinning Groningen. Veiligheid staat onvoorwaardelijk voorop. We nemen nu al maatregelen om dat te bereiken, zoals bouw stikstofinstallatie, afbouwen export en verduurzaming bebouwde omgeving. pic.twitter.com/Hdrg7J9xY2
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) March 29, 2018
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