Amsterdam to cut 95% of carbon emissions by 2050

Bikes pared on an Amsterdam bridge
Bikes pared on an Amsterdam bridge. (Photo: olgacov/DepositPhotos)

The municipality of Amsterdam aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 55 percent in 2030 and 95 percent in 2050, when compared to the emission levels in 1990. The city also aims to be completely off natural gas by 2040. To help achieve this goal, Amsterdam is pushing 150 million euros into a Climate Fund for the period 2019 to 2025, the city announced in a press release.

"If Amsterdam wants to get rid of the harmful emissions of CO2 for good, a break in the trend is necessary", sustainability alderman Marieke van Doorninck said. "We're doing this by setting a good example ourselves by making the municipal organization climate-neutral and we're taking steps towards a gas free city. And we're making sure that every new building is climate neutral, or even providing energy."

In addition to making sure all newly built homes and other buildings are climate-neutral, the city is also tackling existing neighborhoods one by one to get them off the gas network. The first three neighborhoods will be done during this municipality's reign. Amsterdam is also significantly extending sustainable energy generation through wind and sun. And the city is working with the power grid operator and other parties on adjusting the infrastructure, to make the transition to sustainable energy possible.

Amsterdam aims to have all traffic within the municipality emission-free by 2030. To achieve this, the city is building more charging poles to stimulate the move to electric transport. In the coming years the city will expand its environmental zones and work on making a number of neighborhoods car-free. The concessions that the municipality issues, for example for additional public transport, is also emission-free from this year onward. 

The city is also calling on Amsterdam businesses and residents to submit ideas on how to achieve their ambitious goals. "We already know a lot about what needs to be done to achieve our goals, but also want to make use of the collective knowledge of the city, Van Doorninck said. The municipality therefore wants to talk to residents. The alderman stressed that this conversation will not be about whether Amsterdam has to reduce its emissions. "The need to kick off coal, oil and gas is not a question. How we will do that is the subject of conversation. The starting point here is that everyone should be able to participate and that the bill of the transition to clean energy is fairly distributed."

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