Dutch companies call on government to do more against climate change

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A group of 40 large Ducth companies called on the next Dutch government to to lay long-term goals of the Climate Agreement down in law. This is the only way to curb global warming, the companies wrote in a letter in the Volkskrant on Wednesday.

This call was initiated by Siemens, Eneco, Shell, Van Oord and the port of Rotterdam. Over the past weeks 35 other companies joined the call, including Heineken and Schiphol. They support the PvdA and GroenLinks plan for a National Climate Act. They want such a law to make sure that the CO2 emmissions in the Netherlands decrease by 95 percent by 2050, when compared to 1990. The PvdA-GroenLinks legislative proposal is currently in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. The leaders of the two parties, Diederik Samsom and Jesse Klaver, want to debate it before the elections in March next year.

The companies also want a special minister for economy, environment and energy. And a national investment bank especially for development of major energy projects on land and sea.

"We are convinced that the energy transition must happen to combat climate change and see the acceleration of this as an opportunity to develop a new economy", the companies wrote in the Volkskrant. "To achieve this an entrepreneurial, stimulating government is needed, which creates space for companies to fulfill their role in the energy transition."

The companies acknowledge that this acceleration will cost more on the short term, but according to them the long term yields will also be more. 

For this to be successful, companies in the Netherlands will need clarity that spans future cabinets. Which is why the companies want to put it down in law. "The commitments we make must be binding, because we base our investments on them."