Monday 16 September 2019

Climate deal excludes tax on CO2, green groups furious

Dutch environmental organisations have either left or are threatening to pull out of the ongoing talks on climate change because a carbon dioxide emission tax is not going to be part of the deal, Dutch media said on Thursday afternoon.

The Volkskrant said its sources state that the four green groups have pulled out although Greenpeace has so far denied this.

Greenpeace and the other organisations were in talks with environment minister Eric Wiebes on Thursday afternoon but have scheduled a press conference for 4pm, the paper said.

Broadcaster NOS said the green groups are threatening to withdraw from the agreement, which is supposed to be published on Friday.

Some 300 organisations and private individuals are involved in the five separate think-tanks looking at ways to stop climate change and cut carbon dioxide emissions covering mobility, electricity, industry, agriculture and the built environment.

However, the green groups are said to be furious that a CO2 tax has been ruled out. Instead, companies which do not have proper sustainability plans in place will face fines – which, the environmental organisations say, are not high enough to properly act as a deterrent.

Industry currently pays a fraction of the price which private households pay for gas. Companies and the ruling VVD and CDA oppose a CO2 tax because, they say, it would hurt the Netherlands’ competitive position.

The aim of the climate change agreement is to reduce CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030.

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