New Dutch government increases target for reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030

On Wednesday 15 December, the new coalition agreement was presented. One of the pledges made by the new four-party coalition of D66, VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie is to fight climate change. A budget of 35 billion euros will be made available for a climate fund to support this.

Following what has been the longest formation ever, the new coalition agreement 2021-2025 was finally presented yesterday. In order to be climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest, the cabinet has tightened the 2030 goal in the Climate Act to at least 55% CO2 reduction. In order to meet this target, policy is geared towards a higher target, which amounts to about 60% in 2030. The intermediate targets are 70% less CO2 emissions in 2035 and 80% less emissions in 2040.

35 billion euro climate fund

To achieve these targets, 35 billion euro will be made available for a climate and transition fund for the next 10 years. This is on top of the SDE++ ( Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Production and Climate Transition) scheme. This should help to build the necessary energy infrastructure (electricity, heat, hydrogen and CO2 storage), to realise the green industrial policy and to make mobility and the built environment more sustainable.

Minister for Climate and Energy

For the first time, a Minister for Climate and Energy will be installed who will direct the policy and the climate fund. . The implementation power of the national government and the other authorities will be strengthened in order to be able to carry out the transition. An independent scientific advisory board will assess and advise on the policy. Citizens are to be actively involved in climate policy, the coalition agreement states.

An approach such as that used in the Crisis and Recovery Act (Crisis- en Herstelwet – Chw) should speed up procedures for the realisation of new large-scale energy infrastructure projects of national importance.

Energy mix

The new government is aiming for more wind turbines at sea. In view of the scarce space available, it will also focus on the large-scale installation of solar panels on roofs, including setting standards. Solar panels on land will only be permitted if multifunctional use of that land is possible, for example on government land. For onshore wind, clear distance standards will be set for construction. Biomass will be phased out.

Investments will also be made in upscaling the production and import of hydrogen, in geothermal energy, green gas and aquathermal energy. The energy network is being substantially upgraded to facilitate this. In order to realise the objectives on top of the climate agreement, the space for carbon capture storage (CCS) will be increased. The stimulation of CCS will maintain a ceiling. This will be adjusted where necessary to meet the targets.

The government also sees nuclear energy as a possible supplement to sun, wind and geothermal energy, and can be used for the production of hydrogen. The Borssele power station will remain open longer. Preparations are also being made for the construction of two nuclear power stations. In addition, the government wants to stimulate (financial) participation of local residents in order to strengthen the support base.

Skilled workforce

The government considers a sufficient number of skilled workers a precondition for an ambitious climate policy and will work with educational institutions, the authorities and the social partners to train skilled workers and, where necessary, retrain them.

All sectors will participate in achieving the targets: industry, mobility and the built environment. Polluters will pay. For the full coalition agreement visit the government page (in Dutch only). Source:

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