The European Union's policy on air quality led to much cleaner air in the Netherlands, according to a study by public health institute RIVM. Without the European measures implemented since the 1970s, air pollution in the country would be much higher and the average life expectancy in the Netherlands would be about six years lower, the RIVM said.
The Netherlands and eight other European countries are calling on the European Union to implement a tax on air travel. The governments of the nine countries signed a manifesto calling on the European Commission to come up with a proposal on this front, which will be handed to European Commissioner Frans Timmermans.
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.
The government wants to quickly reduce the maximum speed limits on Dutch roads in order to get housing construction up and running again. Lowering the speed limit will reduce the nitrogen emissions caused by road traffic, creating room for nitrogen emissions caused by construction projects, is the idea, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
The government wants to soon implement a quicker permit process for small- and medium sized construction projects, in which no more than 200 homes are built. This measure is part of a structural plan to get housing construction going again after the nitrogen crisis and a new PFAS limit brought hundreds of projects to a standstill. Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture hopes to get the green light from the Council of State within a few weeks, she said to NOS.
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.
Strict climate measures will have much greater consequences on the Dutch economy than politicians realize, according to employers' organization VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland. These measures may even trigger an economic crisis, or what they call a "self-organized recession", the organizations said to De Telegraaf.
In the next 30 years, the Dutch government wants to limit the number of flights from Schiphol to popular tourist destinations. Instead the focus will be on increasing the airport's international network by favoring companies who contribute to this network in the distribution of flight slots, the Volkskrant reports based on Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen's draft Aviation Policy Document 2020-2050.
The Ministry of Defense is supporting the police and the municipality of The Hague on Wednesday in cordoning off the city center, including the Binnenhof, to large vehicles. Hundreds of farmers are expected to go to the city today to protest against nitrogen measures.
Amsterdam plans to restrict cars in the city even more in order to keep the city accessible and reduce emissions. The Amsterdam office of mayor and aldermen presented a 'Car-less Agenda' with 27 measures to reduce car traffic in the city. The package of measures is mainly focused on investing in public transit and improving bicycle and pedestrian connections, NOS reports.
The latest images from Dutch space instrument Tropomi, which maps air pollution around the globe, shows that India is the new top polluter in the world. Also, research shows that the Netherlands has one of the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in Europe, Pieternel Levelt, head of satellite observation at Dutch meteorological institute KNMI and professor at TU Delft, said to newspaper AD.
In his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, King Willem-Alexander called on Russia to cooperate in the investigation into the downing of flight MH17. "The relatives of the 298 victims expect justice and we will not rest until justice is done", the Dutch King said. King Willem-Alexander also spoke on climate change and LGBTQ rights in his speech. NOS reports.
Any money left over in the government's budget should first be spent on raising the salaries of people in the public sector, addressing the housing shortage and getting more police officers on the street, according to a poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of NOS for Budget Day 2019. Only once all that is done, should budget surpluses be used to pay off State debt, the respondents said.
Greenpeace is planning a protest against pollution caused by the aviation sector. And for the first time ever, the environmental organization is asking the public to help choose what type of protest must be held at either Schiphol, Lelystad airport, or everywhere in the country.
Budget airline Transavia weighed the passengers of five flights from Eindhoven Airport on Friday in an experiment to improve its fuel calculations and reduce its CO2 emissions, Eindhoven Airport said on Twitter.
"Through a more precise determination of the weight on board, the fuel calculation can be performed even more accurately, with the goal of less CO2 emissions", the airport said. Participation in the experiment is voluntary.
Last year the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands was 2 percent lower than in 2017 and 15 percent lower than in 1990, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday. The Netherlands still has a long way to go to achieve its climate goal of 49 percent less emissions in 2030 compared to 1990.
The skyrocketing demand for energy-guzzling air conditioners in Dutch homes was not taken into account in the government's Climate Agreement. This blind spot means that it will be even more difficult than expected for the Netherlands to achieve its climate goals, the Klimaatverbond Nederland - a collaboration of dozens of local governments like provinces, municipalities and waterboards - said to newspaper AD.
The amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by Dutch airlines increased significantly in the past five years. TUI Airlines Nederland saw its emissions increase by 74 percent, Corendon by 70 percent, Transavia by 33 percent, and KLM by 18 percent, NOS reports based on figures from the Dutch emissions authority NEa.
With its Dutch airports alone, the Schiphol Group is responsible for 13.6 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, according to a study by environmental research agency CE Delft on behalf of Greenpeace. Schiphol itself says it emits only 33 thousand tons of CO2, the Volkskrant reports.
According to CE Delft's calculations, Schiphol is responsible for almost 7 percent of all CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. For comparison, all passenger cars in the country account for 8.5 percent of Dutch emissions.
The Climate Agreement that the Dutch government is presenting on Friday afternoon is insufficient for fair and effective climate policy, according to environmental organizations Greenpeace and Milieudefensie and trade union FNV. "A few crucial improvements are needed to ensure that we achieve the right breakthroughs for the Netherlands and the world", Greenpeace director Joris Thijssen said at a press conference just hours before the government presented its plans, NOS reports.
After months of negotiations, the coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie finally agreed on a Climate Agreement. The main changes to the draft agreement is that the government decided to balance the burdens more evenly between individuals and businesses by shifting the climate tax from citizens to companies and adjusting the energy tax, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte delayed the publication of the planning offices' climate agreement calculations until after Budget Day, because he thought a debate about the climate would be "undesirable" at this point, Nieuwsuur reports based on documents it received by appealing to the Government Information Act. Opposition parties in parliament are outraged and want a quick explanation from Rutte about the pressure he exerted on the planning offices to delay this publication, NOS reports.
The Netherlands could still achieve the emission reduction goals set in the so-called Urgenda ruling, if it closes three almost new coal-fired power stations at the start of next year, research agency CE Delft concluded in a study done at the request of Natuur & Milieu, Greenpeace and the Lung Fund. Closing the coal plants will also not be very expensive, costing 760 million euros, the Volkskrant reports.