Friday 07 October 2022

Despite damning report ‘we will reach climate targets’, minister says


The cabinet will reach its climate change targets next year, infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen told reporters after Friday’s cabinet meeting, broadcaster NOS reported.

‘We have to comply with the verdict,’ Van Nieuwenhuizen said, referring to the Urgenda climate change court case which said the state has to meet its earlier agreements.

The Dutch environmental assessment agency said on Friday that the Netherlands will not meet its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 25% by 2020, when compared with 1990. Instead, the reduction is likely to be no more than 21% the agency said.

The agency was asked to evaluate the cabinet’s plans in the wake of an appeal court judgment last year that ruled the state had a duty of care to its citizens to meet the targets. Fines and compensation rulings will be imposed if it fails to achieve them, although the government is appealing against the ruling.

The agency’s findings were leaked earlier this week to the Volkskrant and show that efforts to speed up the conversion to green energy by building more wind farms have been offset by the economic recovery, which has led to more traffic on the roads and increased consumption.

Other measures being considered to cut emissions include closing coal-fired power stations sooner than planned and cutting the speed limit on motorways from 130 to 100 km/h. However, experts say even these plans will not be enough to achieve the 25% target.

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