Greenpeace renews call to close all coal plants

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By closing all coal plants, the Netherlands can fulfill all its climate obligations in one shot, Greenpeace said in a statement responding to a report on the future of coal powered plants in the country.

The report, commissioned by Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs, stated that closing all coal plants in the Netherlands would reduce CO2 emissions by 31 percent. The net reduction will be 9 percent as coal plants elsewhere in Europe will have to provide power to the Netherlands.

According to Greenpeace, by reducing CO2 emissions by 31 percent the Netherlands will easily fulfill obligations in the new climate agreement to prevent the climate increasing by more than 1.5 degrees as well as the court ruling to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2020. 

The report also stated that closing the 5 remaining coal plants by 2020 will cost 7 billion euros. According to the environmental organization, this amount lacks context. "It is not the amount that the Dutch society will pay, but the net cash value of the total European energy costs spread over 40 years, the planned lifetime of the coal plants", Greenpeace writes. The organization believes that closing the plants will not cost the average Dutch household more than 14 euros per year.