Netherlands set to miss 2030 climate goals without further action

Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the euro zone's fifth-largest economy will be 38% to 48% lower than in 1990 by 2030

  
A windmill is seen in a Dutch town after a heavy snowfall in Zaanse Schans, Netherlands February 9, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A windmill is seen in a Dutch town after a heavy snowfall in Zaanse Schans, Netherlands February 9, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Eva Plevier

The Netherlands will likely miss climate targets set for 2030 unless more is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions quickly, the Dutch government's climate policy adviser (PBL) said on Thursday.

Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the euro zone's fifth-largest economy will be 38% to 48% lower than in 1990 by 2030, the PBL said, based on current policies and measures announced for the years to come.

That means that even in the most rosy scenario, progress will fall short of the EU-wide goal of cutting emissions by 55% at the end of the decade, and will even miss the government's current own goal of lowering them by at least 49%.

"More measures will be needed to keep the 2030 goal in sight", the caretaker government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte acknowledged in a statement.

The Netherlands introduced up to 7 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in new subsidies for sustainable energy projects and other measures to fight climate change last month.

That promise came too late to be included in the calculations, but the overall effect would in any case not be enough to meet the 55% goal for 2030, the PBL said.

"All in all, the Netherlands faces a huge task to both implement announced policies quickly and to do more to meet 2030 goals", the government advisers said.

Home to many large industries and Europe’s main seaport, the Netherlands is still among the largest polluters in Europe.

Increasing use of renewable energy helped lower CO2 emissions by 25% relative to 1990 levels last year, which was exactly enough to meet the reduction ordered by the country's High Court in a case brought on by environmental group Urgenda Foundation.

Emissions are likely to rise again this year, however, as part of the progress was due to COVID-19 lockdowns and favourable weather.

($1 = 0.8630 euros)

(Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)


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