New Climate Deal will affect everyone in the Netherlands
A first draft of a global climate deal (Klimaatakkoord) for the Netherlands has been presented on the 10th of July and it will affect everyone in the Dutch society.
300 participants, divided into 5 negotiation tables and 34 subtables, have been discussing future climate measures during no less than 4 months. Now a so-called Klimaatakkoord is very near, the first draft of it has been presented by Ed Nijpels, presiding the negotiations.
The aim is to have 49% less greenhouse gases in 2030 and an impressive 90% less in 2050. It makes this climate deal one of the biggest economic changes in Dutch history and it will affect every single citizen in one way or another.
“Not everything is already very detailed”, admits Nijpels, “in the domains of transport and agriculture there still is a lot of detailing to be done. The final decisions are not yet all made and the deal hasn’t been signed off yet, but it’s really a milestone in our history.”
New energy system
The contours of a new energy system are indeed looming: in the Netherlands the industry will change from gas to electricity on a big scale and it will extract CO2 out of the factories’ emissions to store it under the North Sea. The production of renewable energy has to be increased fivefold in 2030. That means huge windmills on land and in the sea and households that will have to shift from gas heating/cooking to heat pumps and (smart) electricity networks.
Who pays the bill?
One of the big and until now unresolved questions is: who will have to pay for this huge and historic transition? Planning bureaus will have to calculate the financial impact before this can be decided. According to Economy and Climate Minister, Eric Wiebes, the affordability and feasibility for the common Dutch citizen are key factors.
“On a macro level the transition will not cause too many problems, on a micro level, for the individual energy user, it can hurt and I want to avoid that”, he says. That’s why special incentives will be planned for people abandoning gas heating or changing to an electric vehicle.
The criticism that the Netherlands are (again) running harder than the other European countries, Wiebes denies. “In fact, we aren’t more ambitious than others, in the end everybody will have to fulfill the climate agreements made in Paris, we simply are starting earlier than others, and he who starts earlier has a bigger chance to win.”
According to Kees Vendrik, who led the negotiations at the ‘electric table’, the moment that subsidizing new, renewable energy isn’t necessary anymore, is nearby. “In 2025 we will stop subsidizing the production of renewable energy, it will be the cheapest form of creating new energy.”