Address by Speech by State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Stientje van Veldhoven at roundtable on New Energy Vehicles (NEV)

‘It’s impressive to hear about the increasing ambitions and growing initiatives to introduce low-emission and zero-emission vehicles around the world, and in China in particular.
We all know that there’s a great urgency in this regard’, according to State secretary Stientje van Veldhoven at a roundtable about New Energy Vehicles in Shanghai.

Welcome, huanying

Ladies and gentlemen,

I’m honoured to speak to you here in Shanghai.
I’m impressed by the dynamism of this city and touched by the warm welcome I’ve received.
Shanghai stands symbol for your country’s spectacular growth and development in the last decades.
It’s also the frontrunner in your country’s development of New Energy Vehicles in China.
I'm really looking forward to seeing new energy vehicles in action at the test track later today!
There are over 200,000 new energy vehicles driving around this city.
And the number keeps going up.
Shanghai is clearly the Chinese trailblazer in green transport and mobility.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Around the world, climate measures are being put into effect, in all sectors and at all levels – national, regional and local.
But we need to pick up the pace. And that demands new and productive cooperation between all parties: nations, regions, cities, knowledge institutions and society at large.
We owe it to future generations.
As former president Barack Obama once said: ‘We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it...’
As you know China and the EU fortified their pledge on the Paris Agreement.
Both China and the EU stand by their commitments and will strengthen their cooperation to achieve the ambitious goals.

We will do what we can to progress towards a clean, smart, safe and social global society.
We will do what we can to support those who seek to end humanity’s addiction to fossil fuel.
We will do what we can to bolster green growth, and get new business models up and running before the old ones expire.

The Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change and Call to Action brings together individual and collective commitments to increase electric transport and mobility.
It builds on successful experiences worldwide.
And of course on the converging interest in hybrid, electric and hydrogen solutions for all modes of transport.

It’s impressive to hear about the increasing ambitions and growing initiatives to introduce low-emission and zero-emission vehicles around the world, and in China in particular.
We all know that there’s a great urgency in this regard.
Transport is responsible for 30 per cent of global carbon emissions.
We need leadership.
Global leadership to move us forward, towards clean and sustainable transport solutions.
To protect the health of our citizens.
And our planet.
The benefits – like cleaner air and better quality of life, especially in inner cities – are obvious.  
The Netherlands is very much aware of this.
So we’re investing in better and cleaner public transport.
And we’re investing in cycling.
Cycling is in our DNA – and the same could be said of China.
In the Netherlands, there are more bikes than people.
As the European leader in urban cycling we stimulate the use of bikes by investing in better and safer cycle paths.
By encouraging companies to offer their staff financial incentives to commute by bike instead of by car.
And by promoting the use of e-bikes for commuting over longer distances.

But of course we’re also taking action on zero-emission motorised transport, through incentives, strong public-private cooperation and ambitious targets at national, European and international level.

From 2025 buses and city logistics in the Netherlands will be zero-emission.
And this also applies to all new cars sold from 2030.

So, improving vehicle-charging infrastructure is also at the heart of what we’re doing.
We’re proud that we have lots of innovative startups, like NewMotion and EVBox, that are working to make this possible.
It’s proof we’re powering ahead with the transition towards more sustainable energy and transport systems.
Another great example of innovation is a special project in the city of Utrecht, where e-vehicles are charged using locally-produced solar energy.
It’s an initiative run by the people, for the people.
What’s the secret?
Just do it and learn!
We can learn from China’s boldness in this regard.

The Netherlands has one of the most extensive vehicle-charging infrastructure systems in the world.
With one public or community-access charging outlet for every four electric vehicles.
And we’re not just limiting ourselves to cars, buses and delivery vans.
We even provide charging infrastructure for canal boats in Amsterdam.
The electrification of all modes of transport is key if we’re to meet the goals of Paris.
All these initiatives give Dutch people more and more reasons to opt for electric forms of transport.

We’re making headway at national level.
And we’re looking for support and cooperation at European and international level.
We believe we can all learn and grow our markets faster through international cooperation.
By keeping an open mind, we can find smart solutions.

If the sustainable energy transition is to succeed, government leadership is crucial.
As is policy on new energy vehicles for sustainable transport.
The ZEV alliance is an international collaborative platform aimed at accelerating the uptake of zero-emission vehicles.
The policies of frontrunner countries will determine early developments on the market for new energy vehicles.

The Netherlands would welcome active participation by Chinese authorities both national as regional, in the ZEV alliance, in addition to other ongoing international collaboration.

The ZEV Alliance allows us to share valuable lessons learned with all our partners.
Together we can create markets for zero-emission transport.
Sustainable transport systems demand a sustainable energy system, to charge our vehicles in a way that’s easy, efficient and smart.

I’m excited that the alliance is open to further growth, involving innovative nations across the globe.
Together, we’re working on seamless, cross-border travel featuring open protocols, smart cars and charging systems.
In doing so, we’re breaking down barriers.
And establishing new, productive cooperation between all parties: countries, regions, cities, knowledge institutions, businesses and society at large.

In the Netherlands, local and regional energy initiatives play an important role in energy transition.
My country can offer expertise in smart grid technology, including living labs where government, companies and research institutes work together.
Take the Living Lab for Smart Charging, which could be interesting for Chinese companies.
Or the International Platform for Hydrogen Economy, an existing, productive collaboration between our countries.
And we’ll soon be starting a broader initiative with other European countries, cities and industry.  

Why we do all this?
Because international cooperation will help us go faster in the race to a sustainable future.
A future on which humanity depends.

So buckle up!
We’re moving faster and faster on our journey towards a zero-emission future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Netherlands is very much aware that we need to make this journey together.
And we want to lead the way, alongside countries like China.   
This trade mission allows us to meet Chinese counterparts and exchange knowledge and expertise.
With it we hope to write a new chapter in the longstanding friendship between our countries.

Thank you, Xiè Xiè.