All Partners Agree On Energy Agreement

Government, unions, employers and environmental organizations agree on the final version of the energy agreement. In July, the parties already broadly agreed. The signatures will be placed expectedly next week, after the first constituencies of the organizations concerned have been consulted. The Social and Economic Council (SER) came on Tuesday with an official statement. The negotiations on the energy agreement took place under the direction of SER chairman Wiebe Draijer.

The energy agreement contains measures such as the early closing of coal operated power  plants, more renewable energy and extra money for home insulation. The plans should lead to at least 15,000 additional jobs. This was already announced in July.

According to insiders, the agreements that have been made in July, remained largely intact. Only some ‘targets’ have been changed in ‘obligations of result’. In 2016, the agreements will be evaluated. A special committee should ensure that pressure remains on the boiler.

Greenpeace, one of the parties who were at table, is satisfied with the agreement. "It's not a  Greenpeace agreement, but the glass is just a little more than half full," said a spokesman. For a number of points Greenpeace is sorry that they are not listed in the agreement, like differentiated energy tax or the closure of all coal-fired plants. "But that was out of the question."

Natuur en Milieu also endorses the energy agreement. "Well, now the earlier agreements are set into concrete actions with an obligation of result: 14 percent renewable energy by 2020 and 16 percent in 2023 and 1.5 percent energy savings per year."

First step

GroenLinks party leader Bram van Ojik calls the energy agreement "no more than a first step." "If we want to combat climate change and protect our environment, then we should be much more ambitious," said the GroenLinks foreman.

The party believes that polluting companies are not really addresses in the agreement. "Also, nothing is mentioned about shale gas," said van Ojik.

Very satisfied

Labour Party is pleased with the energy agreement, reported PvdA MP and energy spokesperson Jan Vos on Tuesday.

He announced to be very satisfied with the main points. "The negotiators are to be complimented for the results achieved by them. The closure of the coal operated power plants and the unprecedented billion euro investment in green energy, will create many jobs and a healthy green future, " says Vos.