Netherlands residents are divided about how to deal with the coronavirus crisis in combination with the climate crisis. 13 percent think that all attention must now be given to fighting Covid-19, and the fight against climate change should be put on the back burner. But 28 percent see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to rebuild the Netherlands in a more sustainable way, according to a survey by I&O Research.
Three of the five remaining coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands will see either their production scale back dramatically or their facilities close altogether in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the country. The Cabinet agreed to the measure on Friday, undisclosed sources told broadcaster NOS nearly a week later.
Fifteen European countries and 66 companies have entered into a partnership committed to making all plastic packaging recyclable and suitable for reuse. The European Plastic Pact started when Dutch Environment Minister Stientje van Veldhoven made agreements with Dutch companies and then turned to her European colleagues to do the same. She is presenting the plan in Brussels on Friday, NOS reports.
Last year 18 percent more electricity was generated from renewable sources in the Netherlands than the year before, compared to an 11 percent increase in 2018. Last year's increase can mainly be attributed to more solar power, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Wednesday.
Last year 21.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of sustainable energy was generated in the Netherlands, compared to 18.5 billion kWh in 2018. Windmills were responsible for the largest share of this at 49 percent, followed by biomass at 26 percent, and solar power at 24 percent.
This was the seventh consecutive winter in which temperatures in the Netherlands did not drop to -10 degrees Celsius or lower at the weather station in De Bilt, according to Weeronline. This winter was also the second warmest winter since temperature measurements started in 1901, and included the wettest February on record.
February 2020 was the wettest February in Dutch history. An average of 142 millimeters of rain fell across the country, while 55 millimeters is normal for the Netherlands in February, according to Weeronline. The month was also exceptionally mild, going into the books as the second warmest February since temperature measurements started in 1901.
Farmers are willing to take steps towards nature-inclusive agriculture, but only if there are the right financial incentives, according to a study by the Netherlands' environmental assessment agency PBL and the VU University Amsterdam among 950 members of farmers' association LTO, and another 150 farmers not associated with LTO.
Companies who offer CO2 compensation - a popular offer among airlines and travel agencies - rarely deliver on what they promise. The projects in which they invest fall short, and there is barely an effect on climate change, Trouw reports based on its own research and discussions with dozens of Dutch CO2 compensation providers, labels and scientists.
Members of the Dutch cabinet met with representatives of a nonprofit organization that pushed the government down a path towards urgent and immediate greenhouse gas reductions. The meeting followed a landmark ruling in December by the Dutch Supreme Court over greenhouse gas emissions in a case brought by climate organization Urgenda.
Most residents of the Netherlands are not worried that they will eventually face major problems due to the increased risk of flooding climate change brings with it. 80 percent are "very" or "fairly" confident that the government will take appropriate measures in time, according to a survey of almost 1,100 people by the Flood Protection Program - an alliance of public works department Rijkswaterstaat and the water boards in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
For the first time ever, more Netherlands residents traveled to their vacation destination abroad by plane than by car. The number of plane trips increased by 3 percent to 10.1 million last year, while the number of car trips decreased by 3 percent to 10 million, according to figures from the Dutch Tourism Board, NOS reports.
Aviation in the Netherlands can only be allowed to grow if the sector decreases its nitrogen emissions, a committee on nitrogen emissions led by Johan Remkes said in advice to the government about air travel. Remkes thinks it only fair that aviation, like other sectors, makes a balanced contribution to reducing emissions. If that doesn't happen, Schiphol can't grow any further and Lelystad Airport can't open for holiday flights, the committee said, NOS reports.
The 20 largest rural municipalities in the Netherlands on Wednesday signed an accord with Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, responsible for Housing and Environment, to promote car sharing in their municipalities. The aim is to have at least 100 thousand shared cars with 700 thousand users by 2021.
The word "boomer" was voted the Netherlands' Word of the Year for 2019, the Dikke Van Dale announced on Tuesday. "Boomer" received 41.8 percent of the 17,500 votes cast in the Netherlands. Second place went to "klimaatspijbelaar" with 14.2 percent of the votes, and third to "klimaatdrammer" with 9.6 percent, NU.nl reports.
Car owners in the Netherlands will pay 147 million euros more in road taxes next year than this year, according to Statistics Netherlands. The increase is partly due to the growing fleet of vehicles, higher rates, and the particulate matter tax that will be implemented. In total, the government and provinces expect to collect almost 6.1 billion euros in road tax in 2020.
The road tax, or motor vehicle tax, consists of a government part and a part collected by the provinces. The government expects to collect 131 million euros more next year, the provinces 16 million euros more.
Dutch flag carrier airline KLM plans to send ticketed passengers a mobile payment request to offset their share of carbon-dioxide emissions. The airline said it will start the program as a test in 2020 using social media messaging platform WhatsApp to distribute the requests.
All money collected will be invested in a Panamanian reforestation project, the airline said.
The Dutch government has formulated ambitious sustainability goals, like reducing CO2 emissions by 49 percent by 2030 and achieving a fully circular economy by 2050, but there is no coherent vision on what a sustainable society will look like and how to get to such a society, the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure said in its advisory report titled "Toward
Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in the Netherlands are largely positive about the future of the country. They are less worried by social issues like crime, the multicultural society, population density and the mentality in the Netherlands than the older generations. Their main concern is environmental pollution, Statistics Netherlands revealed on Friday in its annual National Youth Monitor.
Shell turned to court to demand that all Greenpeace protests be banned on and around the four Brent oil platforms in the British part of the North Sea. In mid-October Greenpeace protested on two of the no-longer-in-use platforms, demanding that Shell dismantle and remove the platforms. A court in Scotland will rule on this case on Thursday, NOS reports.
Almost 60 percent of Netherlands residents consider themselves a meat eater, but just as large a group are aware of meat's impact on the climate and think that eating less meat will become the norm. Almost half agree with the statement that "eating meat everyday is no longer of this time", according to a study by Kien commissioned by environmental organization Natuur & Milieu, AD reports.
Last year the Dutch transport sector emitted 26 billion kilograms of CO2 equivalents of greenhouse gases, almost as much as in 2012. Aviation was responsible for 49 percent of those emissions, water transport for 26 percent, and road transport for 21 percent, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday.
The Dutch government is currently investigating a list of around 20 unorthodox and unpopular measures for reducing nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These measures include banning car traffic on one Sunday a month, and lowering the speed limit on all highways to 100 kilometers per hour, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
Generating electricity from biomass creates more greenhouse gas emissions than coal and gas, according to a yet-to-be-published study by DNV GL consultancy commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management that newspaper AD has in its possession.
Starting today, travel organization Sunweb will start compensating for the CO2 emissions caused by its package holidays. The organization will not only compensate the emissions of the flight, but also those of associated bus trips, transfers and accommodations. This will cost the company an estimated 1 million euros, but prices will not be raised for customers, Sunweb said, NOS reports.