Dutch residents will have to ditch their cars for sustainable transport system
To build a fully climate-neutral transport system in the Netherlands, many citizens will have to give up their cars, Jan Willem Eirsman, the government’s new chief climate adviser as chairman of the Scientific Climate Council, told the AD.
“Because electric driving is now being stimulated, it seems that we assume that everyone will drive an electric car,” he said. But that’s just perpetuating the same system while a radical change is needed to achieve climate-neutral transport by 2050.
According to Erisman, it is questionable whether it will even be possible in the long term to just replace petrol and diesel cars with electric models “with the limited raw materials and critical materials available.” For example, the earth only has so much of the precious metals needed for electric car batteries.
“Maybe we need to move to a completely different way of mobility,” he said. One of the options considered by the Scientific Climate Council is for city dwellers in the Randstad to switch to shared- and public transport, while electric driving remains the best option for rural areas. “That is a completely different concept than betting as much as possible on the cheapest possible electric cars.”
Erisman realizes that the idea will meet resistance, especially with the image of your own car representing freedom. He stressed that this is a long transition. “People won’t have to hand in their car tomorrow.” But the Netherlands does have to immediately focus on building alternatives and getting citizens on board to transition to climate-neutral transport by 2050, he said.