Dutch Cabinet told to be more transparent with billions in climate spending
The Cabinet needs to be more transparent about its climate spending. The government has no clear overview of where the billions of euros pushed into limiting climate change is going, the Court of Audit concluded in an investigation into the Cabinet’s expenditure on climate measures.
The government is currently spending 6.8 billion euros on combating global warming. But there is no overview of where that money is going to. Different Ministries list different amounts for the same thing, for example, offshore wind farms or making rental homes more sustainable, but it is unclear how much money is actually involved.
Minister Sigrid Kaag of Finance, for example, reported that the connection of offshore wind farms would cost 150 million euros less than her colleague Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs indicated. The Ministry of Agriculture said in an overview of climate spending that restructuring pig farms will cost 44 million euros between 2020 and 2027, but in its budget, the Ministry listed the cost as 259 million euros for the same period.
The Court of Audit also noted that the Ministries use different definitions for climate measures, so it could well be that some expenditures are wrongly placed under the climate measures heading.
The Ministers involved can’t give parliament a “clear and complete overview,” making it impossible for the Tweede Kamer to do its duty and check the spending, the Court of Audit said.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, is currently considering approving another climate fund of 35 billion euros.