Green party will only support Dutch gov't plans if they agree to carbon tax

GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver is demanding that the coalition parties support his legislative proposal for a CO2 tax, in exchange for his party's support on new cabinet plans. "The question is not whether we will help the government to a majority, but whether the coalition will help our plans to a majority", he said at a meetup in The Hague on Monday evening, NOS reports.

The Provincial States elections are happening in March, and the State Members will then elect the Senate. The Dutch coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie currently has the smallest possible majority, 38 seats, in the Senate. Klaver assumes that the government will lose this majority, and will therefore need the opposition's help in passing any of their new plans. A recent poll among Dutch voters by Maurice de Hond showed that the coalition parties are hemorrhaging support. 

GroenLinks and the PvdA have been pushing for a pollution tax for some time, saying that climate goals can better be achieved in this way. If the proposal GroenLinks presented on Monday is passed, the large industry will pay tax per ton of CO2 emitted from 2020 onwards. According to Klaver, this will raise over 2 billion euros in 2021 - money that can be used to lower the energy bills of citizens.

Last week Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the business community must pay its "fair" share on the implementation of the climate agreement. In the draft agreement that the government made with various companies and civil society organizations, a CO2 tax was deliberately not include because it is bad for companies' competitive position, Rutte said.