Utrecht declared the climate a state of emergency on Thursday night. A majority of the city council supported a motion by animal rights party PvdD calling for maximum effort to be put into limiting global warming as much as possible. With this, Utrecht follows cities like Amsterdam, Haarlem, London, Paris and Sydney, who also declared a climate emergency, NOS reports
The Dutch government made an additional amount of 80 million euros available for promoting a circular economy in 2019 and 2020. The money is intended for projects that "fit in with the transition to an economy without waste", and thereby contribute to reducing CO2 emissions, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management announced.
The Netherlands' goal is to have a 50 percent circular economy by 2030, and have its economy be 100 percent waste-free by 2050.
The majority of Amsterdam residents supports taking measures against climate change, the Amsterdam center for research, information and statistics OIS found in a survey among 1,400 locals. Around 70 percent called the switch to sustainable, clean energy a good thing and feel responsible to contribute to this transition. And only 5 percent said climate change is exaggerate, the city said in a pres release.
A new study of senior managers at Dutch businesses found that firms in the Netherlands are spending far more than normal on training and developing their staff. The study also found that many of the business leaders were focused on improving sustainability, but that they were divided on the Brexit issue.
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.
An investigation into the use of sustainable fish at high-end restaurants in the Netherlands determined that most served at least one fish item that could have long-lasting negative impact on the ecosystem. The study, carried out by non-profit organization Good Fish Foundation (GFF), found that 89 percent of restaurants use a fish species that is red-flagged on the organization’s sustainability index VISwijzer.
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn plans to step up its fight against food waste with a new system called "dynamic discounts". This involves an electronic price tag that gives customers a bigger and bigger discount the closer a product comes to its sell-by date, NOS reports.
Over the past year, Albert Heijn threw away 1 percent of unsold products because they exceeded their expiry date. That amounts to 63 million kilograms of wasted food. The supermarket chain hopes that the dynamic discounts system can help reduce this.
Good news for Dutch meat lovers who also want to make a more environmentally-friendly choice with their meals. The plant-based Beyond Burger is now available at over 700 Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands.
In the coming years Hema will be fully committed to sustainability. Part of that is creating vegan variants for all its most popular products, including the company's iconic smoked sausage, or rookworst as it is known in the Netherlands.
All of Hema's food products will eventually be given a vegan version, CEO Tjeerd Jegen said to Het Parool. The company already offers a vegetarian sausage roll and vegan apple pie. Pastry tompouce is a bit more complicated, but will also be looked at eventually, he said.
Dutch supermarkets are determined to use less and more sustainable packaging, according to supermarkets' association CBL. The goal is to reduce packaging material by 20 percent by 2025, RTL Nieuws reports.
The supermarkets will start with the handling of fruit and vegetables. "The most important question is what the function of the packaging is. Where it is possible and also the sustainable solution, packaging material will be significantly reduced."
The municipality of Amsterdam aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 55 percent in 2030 and 95 percent in 2050, when compared to the emission levels in 1990. The city also aims to be completely off natural gas by 2040. To help achieve this goal, Amsterdam is pushing 150 million euros into a Climate Fund for the period 2019 to 2025, the city announced in a press release.
The municipal housing costs, sewerage and waste taxes, and property taxes are rising "very substantially" this year, according to the annual study by the research center for the economy of the lower governments COELO, NU.nl reports.
The national government is increasing waste tax by 139 percent this year. Waste processors pay waste tax for the garbage that is incinerated or landfilled, and this cost is passed on the municipalities. As a result, municipalities have 3.5 to 4 percent more costs this year.
Tenants of social rental housing do not have to worry about any extreme rent increases in the coming years. The association of housing corporations Aedas and the Woonbond made a new social lease agreement in which they agreed that social housing tenants will not carry the costs of making their homes more energy-efficient. And rents will rise by no more than inflation in the coming years, RTL Nieuws reports.
The agreement still has to be approved by the members of both organizations.
Airlines will pay an average of 7.9 percent more for the use of Schiphol airport in the coming three years. Schiphol is also making it more attractive for companies that use cleaner and quieter planes to use the airport, was revealed in the new tariffs Schiphol released for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022, NU.nl reports.
In the next three years Amsterdam will deliver all trees cut down in the city to the Stadshout Foundation, which will process the trees in a sustainable manner and give the wood new life n the city in the form of street furniture or decoration, the municipality announced in a press release.
GroenLinks, SP and PvdA, the three largest left-wing parties in the Tweede Kamer, together presented an alternative budget that puts "people above multinationals" on Wednesday. They call for more investments in society and in the "livelihood of all Dutch people", Het Parool reports.
The government is structurally allocating an extra 100 million euros for making social rental homes more sustainable. Housing corporations will receive this amount annually starting next year, sources around the cabinet told RTL Nieuws.
The extra investment will officially be announced on Budget Day, on September 20th, according to the broadcaster. In the coalition agreement the government already promised housing corporations 100 million euros structurally to make their homes more sustainable.
Festival Milkshake will only be selling vegetarian food at its seventh edition on July 28th and 29th in Amsterdam, the organizers announced over the weekend. The decision was met with some strong reactions. "We are really surprised about that", organizer Marieke Samallo said to RTL Nieuws.
"We didn't invent the simple solution", Samallo said. "The Digital Festival in Amsterdam hasn't served meat in three years. We are now also taking our responsibility."
A majority in the Tweede Kamer wants the government to promise that the Binnenhof in The Hague will be gas-free after the large-scale renovations set to start in 2020. State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will do his best, but won't make any promises, he said in a parliamentary debate about the Binnenhof renovations on Wednesday, NOS reports.
D66 parliamentarian Salima Belhaj thinks that the Dutch military must be made more sustainable, for example by using hybrid trucks instead of diesel or letting soldiers on mission grow part of their food there. She is submitting a set of proposals on how to achieve this to Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense on Tuesday, she said in an interview with newspaper Trouw.
Utrecht scores the best of all Dutch cities when it comes to sustainability, according to a study by Natuur & Milieu published on Tuesday. Amsterdam came in a close second, followed by Alkmaar.
Crowdfunding, crowd financing, and crowd investing in the Netherlands showed strong growth of 31 percent last year compared to 2016 figures when 170 million euros was raised. A total of 223 million euros was raised through Dutch crowd initiatives last year, which financed over 5,300 separate actions, according to an analysis from CrowdfundingCijfers.nl
Working with a 13 million euro budget provided by the Dutch government, Studio Roosergaarde of light artist Daan Roosegaarde turned the 32 kilometer long iconic Afsluitdijk into a beautiful and sustainable art installation with three separate projects - Gates of Light, Windvogel and Glowing Nature.
The provinces of Friesland and Groningen, with rail manager ProRail, plan to start testing a train running on hydrogen next year. The provinces hope that hydrogen will prove to be a cheap and sustainable alternative to the diesel trains currently running between Leeuwarden and Groningen, the Volkskrant reports.