“Extremely concerning,” outgoing Prime Minister Mark Root (VVD) said in the latest climate report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday. Climate change ‘a life-threatening fact’ chirp Christinoni leader Gert Jan Segers. With Representative Joris Tejsen, belongs A “global scientific alarm” sounds “loud and clear.”
The Climate Report presented on Monday, Politics in The Hague, once again draws attention to the urgency of a topic that will dominate Dutch politics in the coming decades, and that society will permanently change. Moreover, with the new report, climate change has become more urgent during the ongoing negotiations over next year’s budget and the new government.
Root admitted that because there is a “gap” between the specific climate goals and the actual outcomes of Dutch climate policy. The Netherlands will almost certainly not achieve a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases in 2020 compared to 1990. Rutte acknowledged that the European target for a 55 percent reduction by 2030 is far from the vision: “This is one of the questions that will be asked in the coming weeks.”
Waiting is no longer an option
Indeed, the Netherlands cannot wait for new measures – not to achieve the climate goals that were set, not to prevent cities and villages from flooding or drying out the land in the coming years. Not to mention preventing the far-reaching consequences of climate change in the coming decades. Giving up tracts of land, and thus communities, is the most inclusive option, according to the scientists’ scenarios.
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But the report is not the first time Dutch politicians have been warned to do more against climate change. The Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), among other things, regularly indicates to the government that more measures are needed to achieve climate targets. The Netherlands lags behind the rest of Europe. In recent years, even the Supreme Court, the government has been forced to take further action in the Urgenda process. The Cabinet also appeared divided on Monday: Outgoing Minister of State in charge Dylan Yechiljus Zegerios (VVD) essentially signaled which other nations should increase their climate ambitions.
The consequence of waiting is to increase the social, economic and political costs of the new measures. Much of what future governments want must be within the frameworks established by climate change. Stalled construction due to the nitrogen ruling two years ago is an early example of this; The peasant protests that followed were another, as they increased political pressure on the CDU in particular to dampen ambitions.
The coming period will show the steps that the formed parties dare to take. And at what cost. Citizens are now paying in particular the costs of the energy transition, as PBL recently demonstrated, while the costs of polluting large corporations are lagging behind. But CO2 is higher2Rutte and his VVD do not like a corporate tax, while a further reduction in the number of livestock remains politically controversial. The question is whether the parties can and will continue to abide by these requirements, now that the new report has emphasized the urgency of further intervention and appears to be widely felt in the House.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of August 11, 2021
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