Government kicks off climate agreement efforts

The cabinet has set out the government's objectives for a national climate agreement. This gives the green light to discussions on the agreement with the private sector, civil society organisations and subnational authorities. The aim is to reach broad consensus on ways that the Netherlands can reduce its CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030. This will then be developed into concrete programmes in the second half of the year. Implementation of the agreement will start in 2019.

The government wants to achieve an agreement that can count on broad social and political support. ‘All stakeholders need each other to make this big challenge a success,’ said Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Eric Wiebes. ‘Reducing greenhouse gases to the necessary levels is a significant undertaking, but it also offers opportunities for strengthening the Dutch economy.’

The agreement has one central goal: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands by at least 49% (compared to their 1990 levels) by 2030. The measures needed to significantly reduce carbon emissions cost money. And the government wants to limit the costs for citizens and businesses as much as possible, by being careful to ensure that the agreed measures are cost efficient.

The climate agreement must contain specific carbon reduction measures, which make it clear which stakeholders are responsible for achieving the related results. The agreement will cover five sectors: industry, mobility, the built environment, electricity, and agriculture and land use. Each sector will have a CO2 reduction goal (in megatonnes), as set out in the coalition agreement.

Five sector bodies will be created, in which stakeholders will participate. The bodies will make a concrete contribution to the energy transition, have knowledge of their sector and have the mandate to make agreements. The bodies will also be expected to make agreements on themes that are important to all sectors, such as innovation, finance and the labour market.

The progress and cohesiveness of discussions will be monitored by a climate board. Within the government, responsibility for climate policy is shared between the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK); the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK); Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV); and Infrastructure & Water Management (I&W).

The sector bodies and the climate board will each have an independent chair, listed below:

  • Built environment (BZK): Diederik Samsom
  • Mobility (I&W): Annemieke Nijhof
  • Industry (EZK): Manon Janssen
  • Electricity (EZK): Kees Vendrik
  • Agriculture & land use (LNV): Pieter van Geel
  • Climate board: Ed Nijpels