Dutch gov't discussing CO2 emission reduction with climate org. Urgenda

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Eric Wiebes (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Eric Wiebes (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

Members of the Dutch cabinet met with representatives of a nonprofit organization that pushed the government down a path towards urgent and immediate greenhouse gas reductions. The meeting followed a landmark ruling in December by the Dutch Supreme Court over greenhouse gas emissions in a case brought by climate organization Urgenda.

The ruling determined that the Netherlands must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent in comparison to emissions levels in 1990. In meeting with Urgenda director Marjan Minnesma, the cabinet said it hoped to gather new insight in implementing a package of measures to reduce gas emissions, according to broadcaster NOS.

Eric Wiebes, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, pledged to achieve the goals set forth in the court ruling. He said he was optimistic the government would meet with Minnesma more frequently to achieve the monumental task.

Back in December, the Supreme Court ruled that climate change is a human rights issue, and despite the mandatory reduction the government was given wide latitude in how it achieves the reduction. “All in all, there is therefore a great deal of consensus about the urgent need for a reduction of at least 25-40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from the Annex I countries,” the court said. “The urgent need for a 25-40% reduction in 2020 also applies to the Netherlands individually,” the Supreme Court said.

Research agency CE Delft said the reduction was possible by closing the three newer coal-fired power plants. The energy loss could be made up by replacing the facilities with natural gas-powered plants that emit about half as much carbon dioxide. The CO2 reduction would account for about nine million tons.

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