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The Netherlands must reduce carbon emissions by the end of the year, but can this be done?


The city of Amsterdam's western docklands, the location of a huge coal-fired power station.

But the facility’s been shut since the end of last year. The decision to close it five years ahead of schedule was forced on the Dutch government by a landmark climate case brought by the sustainability organisation, Urgenda.

This forced the Netherlands to speed up climate protection measures to comply with the court ruling – which affirmed that the country must be emitting 25% less CO2 by the end of 2020 than it was in 1990.

Compared with other EU countries, the Dutch energy mix is considered one of the worst. Just seven percent of the country’s total energy consumption is covered by renewables - far off the EU’s target for this year of twenty percent. In fact, the Amsterdam western docklands coal power plant alone emitted 3.6 megatons per year – that’s some two percent of the total CO2 output of the Netherlands.

Marjan Minnesma is the Director of Urgenda, a non-profit organisation which aims to empower the country’s ecological energy transition. She believes that despite the Government providing clean energy subsidies, they are still in danger of missing their deadline.

“The Government gave additional subsidies, two billion euros for solar panels and big wind farm projects. They gave additional subsidies for insulation measures and heat pumps”. She said, “We've told them (the Government), if you are three months later, it's (still) fine. But if you don't do enough we will go back to court."


Source: Euronews

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