Saturday 19 October 2019

More divisions hit climate accord, final deal may be postponed to 2019

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Divisions within the coalition about reaching a national climate agreement threaten to derail plans to finalise the deal by December 21, the AD reported on Monday.

The paper says the ruling VVD and CDA are particularly concerned about planned increases in the tax on gas and higher petrol prices, and says a deal is now unlikely to be reached before the Christmas break.

Sources told the AD that the parties have submitted lists of critical questions to the five groups working on aspects of the agreement, which aims reduce CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030.

The CDA, the paper says, is concerned that low income families will be hit unfairly by the increase in the tax on gas because they don’t have enough money to put in extra insulation or to pay for a heat pump.

At the same time, the VVD has doubts about plans to pay for subsidies on electric cars by raising petrol and diesel prices considerably, the paper said.

However, the four coalition parties have reached agreement on closing the coal fired power station in Amsterdam within 18 months, five years earlier than planned, the paper said.

Green groups

Last week, the Volkskrant said the four environmental organisations involved in the government-instigated talks on combating climate change are threatening not to sign the final agreements.

They say the agreements reached so far will not achieve the government’s target of cutting CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030, the green groups say. ‘If this is the final deal, then we will not sign,’ the paper quotes Greenpeace director Joris Thijssen as saying.

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. They cover mobility, electricity, industry, agriculture and the built environment.

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