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Friday 22 November 2019

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The Netherlands will fail to hit climate change targets, agencies say

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The Netherlands is failing in its efforts to meet a string of important climate change targets, according to two government reports published on Friday.

In particular, a court order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% in 2020 when compared with 1990 will not be met, the official reports said. Last year, CO2 emissions were only down 15% and the figure is unlikely to be more than 23% in 2020, the researchers said.

In addition, the national climate agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 49% when compared with 1990 will not be met either, according to calculations by the environmental planning agency PBL. At most, the reduction will be between 43% and 48% assuming there are no setbacks, the PBL said.

However, the government’s macro-economic policy unit CPB does see a significant shift in the way the measures are being paid for.

The government had initially said that consumers would pick up most of the bill, but later had a rethink. Industry will now face an extra €1bn in costs, taking their share of the total bill to €2.6bn. The cost to households will be €1.8bn, the CPB said.

Optimistic

Economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said on Friday afternoon that the government will take extra measures in an effort to meet the targets. An extra €60m has been set aside in grants to stimulate home owners to use solar panels and heat pumps rather than traditional gas-fired central heating systems.

Wiebes said that despite the pessimism, he is ‘optimistic’ that the targets will be reached.

Jesse Klaver, leader of the left-wing green party GroenLinks, said the government had failed. ‘This is unacceptable,’ he said. ‘The cabinet is abandoning the environment.’

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