Europe asks Netherlands to set more ambitious climate targets
The European Fit for 55 climate package requires the Netherlands to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions more by 2030 than the Netherlands' current Climate Agreement will achieve, the Netherlands' Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) said on Friday. Parliament asked the PBL to analyze what the Fit for 55 package, the joint climate goals for the EU, means for the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
In December last year, the EU countries agreed upon a target to have greenhouse gas emissions 55 percent lower in 2030 than they were in 1990. The Netherlands is one of the countries who argued for this target. This is only possible if the member states set and reach more ambitious climate targets themselves, and they are obliged to do so. The Netherlands hasn't done this yet.
The PBL concluded that to meet the targets set in the Fit for 55 package, the Netherlands must accelerate its climate policy so that emissions are reduced more by 2030. No matter what climate goals the Netherlands choose, emissions must be reduced by at least 52 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 in order to comply with the EU requirements, the PBL said.
The Dutch strategy for heavy industry is not in line with the EU proposals, the PBL said. The Netherlands wants to temporarily invest in underground CO2 storage and "blue hydrogen", which is made from natural gas. The European strategy, on the other hand, is to focus quickly on the ultimate goal of green hydrogen, made from sustainable energy with no net CO2 emissions.
The Dutch Climate Agreement matches better with the Fit for 55 package in other areas. For example, the Netherlands' plans to close coal-fired power stations and encourage electric driving is in line with the European plans. In fact, the European Commission's proposal to tighten up the emissions trading system and the standards for vehicle emissions will create a more level playing field for the Netherlands, the PBL said.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte intends to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held in the Scottish city of Glasgow later this year.