Experts warn indecisiveness brings the Netherlands off track to reaching climate goals
By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions should be 49 percent lower than they were in 1990, yet experts caution that the Netherlands might not achieve this climate target, NU.nl reported. Debates about the construction of windmills and solar parks further complicate decision-makers' job.
The State Secretary for Climate Dilan Yesilgöz ordered an investigation into the role of nuclear energy while SP party leader, Lilian Marijnissen, stated in De Telegraaf we “must immediately stop with windmills on the land.”
According to energy expert, Martien Visser, this is exemplary of how debates are held in the Netherlands. “For every innovation there are fierce opponents that confuse decision-makers meaning relatively little progress is made.”
Director of the Dutch Association for Sustainable Energy, Olof van der Gaag, agreed that there is too much talk and too little action happening in the Netherlands. “I think there is too much discussion about which technique is best”, he stated.
The sluggish progress has become apparent in past years. The Cabinet has maintained for six years that they will carry out the Urgenda ruling which ordered the Netherlands to slash greenhouse gas emissions, but in the end, emissions remained too high. The Netherlands might now have to pay a fine for not already reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent compared to 1990, as was ordered in the Urgenda ruling.
The share of sustainable energy is also lower than the 14 percent the Netherlands agreed with the EU, meaning that wind power now needs to be imported at a high cost from Denmark.
Getting rid of wind mills immediately, as suggested by Marijnissen, would create further problems on the path towards climate neutrality. Wind energy has great potential in the Netherlands due to its location near the North Sea.
The important aspect, according to Van der Gaag, remains that through political decisions, it is ensured that pollution becomes more expensive than sustainable practices. “Energy saving will then become more attractive. It doesn’t matter to me which energy sources we use, as long as they become more sustainable.”