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.
Within 12 months, greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands must be reduced by at least 25 percent in comparison to 1990, the country's Supreme Court said in a ruling on Friday. The Court upheld lower court decisions that said the case was a human rights issue, and in turn ordered the emissions reduction, which Dutch environmental assessment agency PBL said was an unobtainable and "out of reach" goal.
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.
The pupils who organized a massive protest march in The Hague last week met with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Tuesday. They are not satisfied with the results of the talk, and will therefore continue with protests for more to be done against climate change, the organization Youth for Climate announced on Twitter.
The Dutch state will not reach its climate- and energy targets for 2020, the Netherlands' environmental assessment agency PBL concluded in its short-term estimate for 2020. The PBL even goes so far to say that the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent compared to 1990 by next year, as stipulated in the Urgenda ruling, is "out of reach", NU.nl reports.
The Dutch State must do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the court in The Hague ruled after dismissing each of the state attorney's arguments one after the other. The Hague court therefore maintains a previous ruling three years ago that was a groundbreaking victory for environmental organization Urgenda. The State appealed against that ruling, NOS reports.
In the summary proceedings court on Wednesday, environmental organization Milieudefensie demanded that the Dutch state immediately implement measures to reduce air pollution. Campaign leader Anne Knol calls it "absolutely necessary that measures be taken quickly to make the air healthier", NOS reports.
The organization already filed an ordinary lawsuit for this, but Milieudefensie thinks this will take too long.
Ninety Dutch professors called on the new government to invest 200 billion euros into sustainability in the coming decades, in an open letter published in Trouw on Monday. With this money the Netherlands can build new, smart infrastructure for green energy, sustainable water supply and climate-conscious mobility, according to the professors.
The Dutch government will have to close at least one or two of the brand new coal plants if they hope to reach the target set in the so-called Urgenda ruling, according to an as yet confidential study by CE Delf that newspaper Trouw managed to get its hands on.
The Dutch government is considering closing another two coal fired power plants in the Netherlands, on top of the already agreed upon closure of the five oldest coal plants in the country. The final decision on this will be made in the autumn
On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, lower house of Dutch parliament, voted that Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs should give no subsidies to coal-fired power plants for co-firing biomass until it is clear whether the plants must be closed due to pollution. Engergie-Nederland, the umbrella organization for energy companies in the country, thinks that the Energy Agreement will be jeopardized if coal plants do not co-fire biomass
Environmental experts believe that the Dutch population will soon start noticing effects of the agreements reached at the climate summit. These effects will include the closure of coal plants, more electric cars, even more solar panels and less dependence on fossil fuels.
Dutch activist and director of sustainability organization Urgenda, Marjan Minnesma, began today a 580 kilometer hike from the city of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, to the Climate Summit in Paris. Minnesma is highlighting the need for action to prevent dangerous climate change and ensure a livable earth for future generations.
The government will be appealing against the court ruling that stated that they should be doing more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but is willing to take additional environmental measures to achieve this.
The Netherlands can be a major contributor to solving the climate problem if all the coal plants in the Netherlands close down.
The court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch government has to reduce gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 compared to the level in 1990.