Netherlands, Germany to work together on climate measures

Mark Rutte and Angela Merkel
Mark Rutte and Angela MerkelPhoto: Corepics/DepositPhotos

The Netherlands and Germany want to collaborate more intensively in tackling climate change and the energy transition, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Chancellor Angela Merkel said after meeting at the Catshuis in The Hague on Thursday. There are differences in how the two countries are approaching these issues, and those differences are opportunities to learn from each other, they said, NOS reports.

The Netherlands presented its Climate Agreement in June after months of consultation. The German government is currently working on a concrete plan on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country. 

Germany has more experience in dealing with alternative energy sources, while the Netherlands is experienced in transport, Rutte said. "If we work together across borders, it has competitive advantages", according to the Dutch Prime Minister. 

The German Chancellor said that Netherlands set a good example in how it involves citizens in all kinds of anti-climate change measures. She agrees that the discussion around fighting global warming should not be so much about bans and prohibitions, but about innovation and how you can influence the population to take certain measures themselves. 

Rutte and Merkel stressed that the Netherlands and Germany will also need to work with other countries.

Merkel visited the Netherlands with three Ministers who work on Germany's climate policy. The Dutch side of the discussion included Rutte, Ministers Wopke Hoekstra of Finance, Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate, Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management.