Netherlands must do more on climate, says IPCC member

Monday’s report by UN panel on climate change IPCC issued a stark warning to the world to cap global warming to 1.5 degrees or face more extreme weather. The Netherlands, too, would be seriously affected, broadcaster NOS writes.

According to the report Western Europe, including the Netherlands, will be confronted with extremely high water levels in the event of a rise of 2 degrees of global temperatures.

‘A very small rise of the average global warming percentage can have a big impact on extreme weather patterns. That impact doesn’t stop at the border although each country does have its own problems,’ NOS weatherman Peter Kuipers Munneke told the broadcaster.

The Netherlands would have to look to its sea defences as the likelihood of sea levels reaching extreme heights would become twice as great. The IPCC report predicts sea levels may rise  from 30 to 60cm this century but a recent report by the Delta Commission said levels can go up by 1 to 2m if global warming reaches 2 degrees.

It is not only the coast that will feel the brunt, broadcaster NOS writes. River levels too will change with both problems of too much water and too little water. Extreme rainfall will swell the rivers in winter while the 2 degree rise in temperatures would cause more heatwaves in summer and a fall in water levels which would impact shipping.

The Netherlands is not doing nearly enough to combat climate hange, Heleen de Coninck, one of the compilers of the report told NOS Radio. ‘The Dutch climate law proposes a 95 percent energy reduction by 2050 but that would not be enough. The Netherlands is a relatively rich country with enough financial and human resources to bring about changes, unlike Mali or a poor country in Latin America,’ De Coninck said.

According to recent figures from the CBS the Netherlands had reduced its total of greenhouse gas emissions by only 13 percent compared to 1990. This has to go up to 25 percent by 2020.

If governments don’t act now global warming could go up by 4 degrees, Kuipers Munneke told NOS. ‘2 degrees is what we’ll get if we do a lot. 1.5 degrees is what we’ll get if we do a whole lot more. We are at 1 degree already so we’ll be at 1.5 before we know it.’

According to the IPCC report that could happen as soon as 2030.


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