Dutch Environment Sec. pushes for stricter EU emission rules

To reach the targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement, the European Union must reduce its CO2 emissions faster, State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment said in Brussels at a meeting of EU Environment Ministers on Tuesday. The EU's ambitions are too low and the Netherlands and other countries are so concerned that they are considering voting against the EU plans and teaming up to come to their own, separate and more ambitious agreements, the Volkskrant reports. 

Dijksma proposed that the so-called EU Emission Trading System (ETS), with which companies trade their emission allowances, be tightened. The current proposal states that the total number of emission allowances will be reduced by 2.2 percent per year from 2012. But this is not nearly enough to reach the climate agreement targets. The oversupply must be reduced, Dijksma said. "2.2 percent will not get us there, we need to consider 2.4 percent."

The Dutch State Secretary, along with Sweden, France and Luxembourg will submit a proposal to tighten the ETS. If the ETS system is not tightened, the Netherlands will vote against it, Dijksma said.

She also called on all those present to be more ambitious. Of the three driving forces behind the Paris Agreement - the United States, China and the EU - only China is still on course. President Donald Trump is about to reverse the U.S.' entire climate policy. And under pressure of East European countries, EU president Malta reduced the EU's ambitions in the fight against climate change.