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The Netherlands presents ambitious Climate Law
Gepubliceerd: 2018-06-27 15:56:21
Door: Groenlinks




Jesse Klaver, leader of the Green Party: "The Paris Agreement was groundbreaking for the world. The Dutch Climate Law is groundbreaking for the Netherlands. For more than 25 years my party has been fighting global warming. Today seven parties, with a wide range of political ideologies, agreed on a Dutch Climate Law, currently the most ambitious Climate Law in the world."

Targets

  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 95% for 2050 (compared to 1990)
  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 49% for 2030 (compared to 1990)
  • 100% carbon neutral electricity in 2050

Climate Plan

The Climate Law stipulates that the Dutch government will present a Climate Plan every five years. This plan will contain the main climate policy topics for the following years. Furthermore, it will state the measures needed to stay on track. The plan will be evaluated every two years and revised if necessary. Every fourth Thursday of October will be National Climate Day.

Targets

Although the Netherlands set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets before, these never had the intended effect. The new Climate Law will change this. The system of five-year plans and annual reports on the progress will ensure that the government will adjust its policy if necessary to meet the set climate targets.

Frequently Askes Questions

1. What does the Climate Law state?

This new law ensures that the Netherlands will meet carbon emission reduction targets, and introduces a mechanism through which climate policy will be monitored and adjusted on a yearly basis. This mechanism entails for example an annually published climate- and energy study on, among other things, greenhouse gas emissions. Once a year, on the newly introduced Climate Day, the Parliament and the Cabinet will have a debate on climate change. Every five years a new Climate Plas will be drawn up concerning the climate policy for the following five and ten years.

2. What is agreed upon in the Climate Law?

The Climate Law states three targets:

  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 95 % for 2050 (compared to 1990)
  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 49 % for 2030 (compared to 1990)
  • 100 % carbon-neutral electricity in 2050

In addition to the targets, mechanisms ensuring these targets will be met are agreed upon in the Climate Law:

  • Each year on Climate Day, the fourth Thursday of October, the government will present a Climate memorandum. This memorandum will be based on the published climate- and energy study concerning, among other things, greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Prior to the annual discussions concerning the relevant state budgets, a debate on the presented Climate memorandum will be held between the Parliament and the Cabinet. Furthermore, the Council of State will give independent advice on the memorandum.
  • The climate policy will be revised every five years. This Climate Plan corresponds with the systematics of the Paris Agreement and the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans.

The precise Climate Law can be read here in Dutch.

3. Why do we need this Climate Law?

Although the Netherlands set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets before, these never had the intended effect. In 2007, the Dutch government agreed on a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 30 % for 2020 (compared to 1990 emission levels). Unfortunately, this target will most probably not be met. Actually, the greenhouse gas emission reduction compared to 1990 was only 13 % in 2017. Even earlier, in 1991, the Climate Change Memorandum set the target of 3 to 5 % carbon dioxide emission reduction in 2000 compared to 1990. Shockingly, greenhouse gas emissions increased in that time frame.

The new Climate Law will break with this pattern. The system of five-year plans and annual reports on the progress will ensure that the government will adjust its policy if necessary to meet the set climate targets and the Paris Agreement. This is beneficial not only for the climate, but also for business: the more predictable policy is for the long term, the better it is for investment plans.

4. Which other countries have a Climate Law?

This law is the world’s eighth climate agreement bound by law. In Europe, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway and Sweden preceded the Netherlands in establishing a Climate Law. Mexico also has a Climate Law. In addition, the German government agreed on a Climate Law to be drawn up. Nevertheless, the Dutch Climate Law currently sets the most ambitious targets of all with a greenhouse gasses emission reduction target of 95 % for 2050. A Climate Law puts an end to the discussion about whether an intervention is required and shifts the discussion towards how to intervene, which is extremely valuable for long-term continuity in climate policy.

Overview of other Climate Laws

  • UK
    Approved in 2008
    80 % greenhouse gas emission reduction target in 2050 compared to 1990
  • Mexico
    Approved in 2012
    50 % greenhouse gas emission reduction target in 2050 compared to 1990
  • Denmark
    Approved in 2014
    100 % renewable energy in 2050, 0 % fossil
  • Finland
    Approved in 2015
    80 % greenhouse gas emission reduction target in 2050 compared to 1990
  • France
    Approved in 2015
    75 % greenhouse gas emission reduction target in 2050 compared to 1990
  • Norway
    Approved in 2017
    80/95 % greenhouse gas emission reduction target in 2050 compared to 1990, might be met by decreased emission levels abroad.
  • Sweden
    Approved in 2017
    Net zero greenhouse gas emission by 85 % greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2045 compared to 1990, with decreased emission levels abroad.
  • The Netherlands
    Planned for 2018
    95% greenhouse gas emission reduction target in 2050 compared to 1990

5. With which process can the Climate Law be compared?

The process of Climate Law is comparable to that of the budget cycle: governments adapt their budgetary policy according to the economic position of the country. This process enforces financial discipline on governments.
A similar cycle, and therefore discipline, will be introduced to climate policy. Each year on Climate Day, an updated climate- and energy report will be published. Following this report, the government will write the Climate memorandum, stating what changes will be made to the existing policy in order to meet the Climate Law targets. Finally, the Parliament will have a debate on the suggested measures.

6. How does the Climate Law function in the United Kingdom?

The UK has had a Climate Law since 2008. The country found itself in a political crisis after the Brexit referendum in 2016: the Prime Minister resigned, Scotland was considering a separation from the UK and financial markets were unstable. Despite this turbulent period, the government introduced an ambitious set of climate measures because the UK Climate Law forced them to take action and work towards their set targets. Read more in this Guardian article.

7. When will the Climate Law come into practice?

The Climate Law is broadly supported by both left- and right-wing parties and will be advised upon by the Council of State. This advice is expected to be ready after summer. Based on this advice, changes might be made to the law. After that the law will be debated and voted on, first in the Dutch Lower Chamber, then in the Upper Chamber. The law can be enacted before July 1 2019. It will come into practice in 2019!

Press officer:

Noortje Jacobs
n.jacobs@tweedekamer.nl
+31 6 11 51 54 78

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nieuws woensdag, 27 juni, 2018

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