Monday came Climate and Energy Choice Guide out. In it, a working group of civil servants writes what the new cabinet should do in the field of climate. The most important conclusion: more climate policy is needed. And that will cost tens of billions in the coming decades.
While the PVV, the big winner of recent elections, advocates less climate policy. For example, the election manifesto states that “the Climate Act, the Climate Agreement and all other climate measures will immediately go through the shredder”, if it were up to them. But the Choice Guide states that in order to achieve the current climate target of 55 percent emission reduction, additional policy is needed.
“In concrete terms, this means that difficult choices are necessary in agriculture (…) and in mobility,” the officials write. “To be climate neutral in 2050 in accordance with European and national climate law, the Netherlands will still have to take the largest and most drastic steps.”
News hour spoke Noé van Hulst, the chairman of the official working group that drew up the Choice Guide. According to him, more needs to be done in sectors that have done relatively little, such as agriculture and mobility. “In agriculture, for example, this means that you have to look at reducing the livestock population.”
According to Van Hulst, this is probably inevitable. “Sooner or later you really have to do something about it. We say: do it sooner rather than later, that’s much better. Otherwise you have to intervene harder later.”
But if the new cabinet wants to do less on climate policy, what then? That is possible, but to a limited extent, says Van Hulst. “We are in a movement in Europe, which is on its way to climate neutrality. So you are at the lower limit of what needs to be done from Europe. If the Netherlands falls below that, then as a country you run the risk of fines, notices of default, all kinds of things. that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.”
Deteriorated investment climate
You can take a calmer approach to climate policy, says Van Hulst, but: “then you will sit at the back of the bus in Europe. Then you can no longer participate in determining what will happen.”
“Then you give companies less perspective on where things will ultimately go. That leads to uncertainty, to the postponement of investments and by definition to a deterioration of the investment climate in the Netherlands.” And that would be bad news for the Dutch economy, among other things. Because companies don’t like a country that gets into trouble with the European Union because of poor climate policy, says Van Hulst. “Then companies will move their investments to other countries that are more positive.”
Less climate policy, which the PVV advocates, does not seem to be a realistic option given the United Nations climate agreement that the Netherlands signed in 2015. “To be climate neutral in 2050 in accordance with European and national climate law, the Netherlands will still have to take the largest and most drastic steps.”
A right-wing cabinet seems likely, but nothing is certain at the moment. Before the elections, Nieuwsuur investigated what the political parties have in terms of climate plans:
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