The government is to delay plans to introduce a carbon tax on the 300 most polluting companies in the Netherlands next year because of the coronavirus crisis, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday, citing cabinet sources.
The measure was to have been included in a package of proposals to cut pollution in the Netherlands, which should have been published on April 1 but has already been delayed.
The controversial decision to bring in a carbon tax was included in the government’s strategy despite massive opposition from companies, who said it would hurt the Netherlands’ competitive position.
Now, while basic work on the carbon tax has been concluded, sources told the paper: ‘it is not opportune to saddle companies which have been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis with an extra tax in the future’.
Last December the Dutch Supreme Court ruled the state is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of its people, under the European treaty of human rights, ending a seven year legal process.
The ruling means that the government must now reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 25% by the end of this year when compared with 1990.
The cabinet is, however, to press ahead with plans to wind down electricity production at the three remaining Dutch coal-fired power stations in an effort to further cut carbon dioxide emissions, broadcaster NOS said earlier this month.
Meanwhile corona protection measures mean that Dutch air pollution has dropped by between 20% and 60%, according to satellite measurements published by the KNMI.
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