National Climate Change Conference 2016 leads to significant reduction in CO2

During the National Climate Change Conference 2016, representatives from the business community, authorities and NGOs set down agreements aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by a total of 17.6 megatons. This was the finding of a study conducted by Ecofys. The reduction equates to 9 percent of total emissions in the Netherlands, which in turn is the equivalent of the CO2 emitted by 2.2 million households, or 7 million passenger cars. The conference is an initiative of Dutch Environment Minister Dijksma.

Minister Dijksma: ‘Today we have shown that we can accomplish a great deal if all of us join forces. Now, it’s all about continuing to work hard, executing the agreements and reducing CO2 emissions dramatically. Today we have shown how we will contribute to the Paris Agreement with real actions.’

Under the motto "Bring Paris Home", more than 170 participants attended the conference which was held in the former Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam. Many plans and initiatives were launched, and the seeds of new initiatives were sown. The result should be a significant reduction in the CO2 emitted in the Netherlands.

The three major contributions will come from the launching of the CO2 Smart Grid (storage and use of CO2), an initiative of some one hundred municipalities and provinces aimed at creating gas-free neighbourhoods, and new agreements between the government and businesses regarding saving energy.

The road after “Paris”

In addition to the initiatives launched today, the government is also continuing its work on realising the objectives of the historic Paris Agreement. The agreement will, happily, go into effect during the next global climate summit in Marrakesh. The bill proposing the ratification of the agreement will be presented to the House of Representatives this week.

Supplementary measures

The cabinet will implement the agreement through European measures and agreements as well as the SER Energy Agreement, through which the cabinet will be working with all its partners to achieve more renewable energy and energy savings.
The government is investigating if additional coal-fired power plants can be closed and, at the same time, is cooperating with local authorities on developing heat projects. Within the EU and globally, the cabinet is making a case for CO2 pricing, for example, by tightening up the EU emissions trading system (ETS). Moreover, work is being done on introducing CO2 pricing in other countries.

Further acceleration

There was more good news from Montreal and Kigali, with agreements regarding CO2 in the aviation sector and the phasing-out of primary greenhouse gases.