Climate policy

To combat climate change, the Dutch government wants to reduce the Netherlands’ greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and a 95% reduction by 2050. These goals are laid down in the Climate Act on May 28, 2019. The Climate Plan, the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) and the National Climate Agreement contain the policy and measures to achieve these climate goals.

The Climate Act and the National Climate Agreement set out the Netherlands’ climate goals

The Climate Act should give individuals and companies in the Netherlands more certainty about the climate goals. Under the Climate Act, the government is required to draw up a Climate Plan setting out measures to ensure that the targets stipulated in the act are achieved. The National Climate Agreement contains agreements with the sectors on what they will do to help achieve these climate goals.

National Climate Agreement

The National Climate Agreement, which was concluded at June 2019, contains agreements with the sectors on what they will do to help achieve the climate goals. The participating sectors are: electricity, industry, built environment, traffic and transport, and agriculture.

The agreement is based on the principle that reducing carbon emissions must be feasible and affordable for everyone. The government therefore seeks a cost-efficient transition that limits the financial impact on households as much as possible and implements measures to fairly distribute the financial burden between citizens and businesses.
The annual additional costs for the Netherlands associated with the Climate Agreement are less than 0.5% of GDP in 2030. The Dutch society should be able to afford this transition.

Another key element of the deal is that the Netherlands makes optimal use of available time until 2050. Measures will be introduced step by step to ensure nothing needs to be rushed. Moreover, the government will opt for the most cost-effective and future-proof approach.

Climate Plan and National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP)

The Climate Agreement is an essential part of the Climate Plan, and of the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) that Member States of the EU are required to submit to the European Commission. The Dutch government has submitted the Climate Plan and the NECP to the House by the end of 2019.

Judgment in the climate case brought by Urgenda against the State of the Netherlands

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands must be reduced by 25% (compared to 1990 levels) by the end of 2020. This was ruled by the The Hague District Court in 2015 in the case of the Urgenda Foundation against the Dutch State. The Court of Appeal in The Hague and the Supreme Court confirmed the court order respectively in 2018 and 2019. The Supreme Court ruled that the Court of Appeal was allowed and could decide that the Dutch State is obliged to achieve the 25% reduction by the end of 2020, on account of the risk of climate change that could also have a serious impact on the rights to life and well-being of residents of the Netherlands. The government will continue to make every effort to achieve this goal.

Climate agreement timeline