Dutch economy cleaner, greener

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Between the years 2000 and 2016, companies in the Netherlands' production methods have become cleaner and they used relatively less raw materials. Companies that are involved in environmental protection and natural resources are also doing well - their production and employment opportunities increased, Statistics Netherlands reported in its Green Growth report on Monday.

For this report, researchers evaluated the effect of Dutch businesses on the environment during the period 2000 to 2016. The stats office concludes that the Dutch economy is becoming greener, but not in every area. The environmental efficiency of the Dutch economy has improved - water and air pollution and waste production decreased, while the economy grew. Particulate matter emissions decreased by 41 percent and the Dutch economy grew by 21 percent between 2000 and 2016. 

Statistics Netherlands attributes the decrease in particulate matter emissions mainly to national and European environmental legislation. These rules resulted in companies changing their production processes. They started using more filters and more environmentally friendly cars were produced. 

Particulate matter emissions decreased in almost all sectors. Only the agricultural sector saw an increase (plus 3 percent). According to the stats office, this increase can mainly be attributed to the poultry sector. Emissions in this sector increased due to an increase in the number of free-range chickens. In other agricultural sectors, the particulate matter emissions declined. 

The Dutch government uses taxes, laws and subsidies to stimulate green growth. While the Netherlands has a relatively high share of this type of measures, hardly anything about them changed between 2000 and 2016. The revenues from environmental taxes and levies increased less sharply than income from other taxes over the past years. This shows that there was no further greening of the Dutch tax system, Statistics Netherlands concluded. 

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