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.
Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society around 200 million euros per year, through stolen electricity and missed taxes, according to the sector organization for gas and electricity network operators Netbeheer Nederland, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands booked a trade deficit in natural gas for the first time ever last year, Statistics Netherlands reports based on provisional figures. In 2018 a total of 12 billion euros of natural gas was imported, while the export amounted to 9.8 billion euros. The trade deficit thus amounted to 2.1 billion euros.
A criminal investigation into NAM was launched because of the leak of toxic natural gas condensate into a canal in Farmsum, Groningen, the State supervisor on mines SodM announced. A stain of natural gas condensate has been floating in the canal since Thursday, NU.nl reports.
Natural gas condensate is a byproduct of natural gas extraction. It is a very toxic substance. It leaked into the canal after a drip tray in which the condensate was collected overflowed, according to the newspaper.
The growth in sales of sustainable heating methods is leveling off, while traditional central heating boilers are still in high demand. The share of boilers in new buildings even increased significantly, according to a report by environmental organization Natuur & Milieu and grid managers Stedin and Alliander, ANP reports.
The climate table led by former PvdA leader Diederik Samsom is planning large shifts in energy tax in order to get individuals, businesses and housing corporations disconnected from the natural gas network. Over the next 12 years the negotiators want energy tax on gas to increase by around 75 percent, while tax on electricity decreases by over 50 percent. This gradual energy tax shift will almost certainly be included in the Climate Agreement, sources around the climate table said to the Volkskrant.
Dutch construction trade association NVB wants all new homes built from next year to be built without a connection to the gas network. The association hopes that this will keep the playing field equal for all builders, chairman Piet Adema said to AD.
An exception should be made for houses for which contracts have already been signed, he added.
Gas extraction in Groningen will gradually be reduced to zero, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in his weekly press conference on Thursday. He called it an "important decision". Shortly after the press conference, the government released a statement saying that gas extraction in the province will be reduced to less than 12 billion cubic meters per year by 2022, and then to 7.5 million cubic meters per year. "In the years after that gas extraction will be reduced to zero."
A large coalition of parties from various sectors in the Netherlands is calling on the Tweede Kamer to phase out traditional central heating boilers within three years. By 2021 homeowners should only be allowed to replace their central heating boilers with a more sustainable solution, such as a heating pump or a hybrid heating pump, the parties say, NOS reports.
The Dutch government gave Diederik Samsom the job of making sure that a quarter of Dutch homes are off the natural gas network by 2030, the former PvdA leader said in an interview with newspaper Trouw on Friday. That equates to around 2 million Dutch homes.
Samsom will work as an advisor and commissioner at state energy company EBN, and also as negotiator for the Dutch Climate Agreement. VVD Minister Erik Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate asked Samsom to be the negotiator last month, he said.
The Dutch government wants to start building new houses without a connection to the gas network starting this year.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, already agreed that new homes should not be connected to the gas network. But the government thinks that this can be started sooner than the four years planned. On Thursday the coalition wants to arrange that average new homes are built without this connection, RTL Nieuws reports.
A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled the province of Groningen on Monday afternoon. There were no immediate damage reports of note following Monday 3 p.m. quake, which had an epicenter near Zeerijp and could be felt at least 10 kilometers away, the KNMI meteorology agency said.
Broadcaster RTV Noord said those in its Europapark, Groningen offices 20 kilometers away could also feel the ground shake.
Attorney Dennis Woudsma said on Twitter it felt as though the building he was in creaked loudly and then began violently shaking as though someone had grabbed it.
A consortium of companies discovered a "commercially interesting" gas field in the North Sea, about 20 kilometers north of Schiermonnikoog. According to the companies, the discovery exceeded expectations, ANP reports.
The Netherlands saw an increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year. The total greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 197 billion kilograms of CO2 equivalents, 1 percent more than in 2015, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday based on preliminary figures.
CO2 equivalents are used to add up the effects of different greenhouse gasses, such as methane and nitrous oxide, on the environment. 1 kilogram of CO2 equivalent is equal to the effect of 1 kilogram of CO2.
The Netherlands will be dependent on natural gas imports up to six years sooner than the government expects, according to a study by research institute TNO. The researchers call on the government to take timely measures to make sure that households don't end up without gas, NOS reports.
Energy consumption in the Netherlands increased by 2 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Friday. The use of natural gas saw the biggest increase, mostly due the colder winter than in 2015, according to the stats office.
The government wants the Netherlands to be nearly CO2 emissions free by 2050, according to Economic Minister Henk Kamp's Energy Agenda. The Agenda contains a number of measures to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and encourage sustainable living. Environmental organizations call the plan unambitious, NU.nl reports.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands was five percent higher in 2015 than in 2014, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Monday.
Electricity production from coal in Dutch power plants increased for the fourth year in a row in 2015, according to Statistics Netherlands. Last year 39 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was generated using coal, a 35 percent increase compared to 2014.
National gas extraction in the Netherlands dropped by more than a quarter last year to just over 51 billion cubic meters. The decrease was compensated for by imports, mainly from Norway and Russia, according to figures Statistics Netherlands published on Tuesday.
The Netherlands is still far from reaching the objectives agreed to in the European guideline for Renewable Energy 2020. Of all the EU countries, only France is performing worse, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Thursday.
Shareholders at Dutch-British oil and gas firm Royal Dutch Shell approved the 47 billion dollar (43 billion euro) of the United Kingdom gas company BG Group. Roughly 83 percent of shareholders gave their blessing to the deal during a meeting in Den Haag, Shell said in a statement on Wednesday.
The CO2 emissions in the Netherlands are rising faster than the economic growth - in the third quarter emissions increased 6.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The economy grew with only 1.9 percent.
Eleven people were rescued at sea after a Dutch freighter collided with a Marshall Islands tanker ship early Tuesday morning. Only one person was injured in the accident, and was being treated at a hospital for hypothermia.