Dutch business community urges acceleration of energy transition

The Dutch business community has embraced the Paris climate objectives for 2050 and is calling on the government to prioritize the acceleration of the energy transition.

Thirty-nine players, including initiators Siemens, Van Oord, Eneco, Shell, and Rotterdam Port Authority, have joined forces in a Transition Coalition to request the government to draw up climate legislation to implement the agreements reached at the Paris summit.

The Transition Coalition is calling on the government to:

  • draw up climate legislation to implement the aims of the Paris climate agreement in 2050, with specific intermediary objectives in 2030 and 2040;
  • appoint a minister for economy, climate and energy, who will ensure policy cohesion;
  • set up an independent climate authority that binds the parties and calls them to account regarding a dynamic and consistent implementation, and guarantees the agreements made irrespective of which government is in power;
  • establish a national investment bank that facilitates investments in further innovation and major energy projects.

The aceleration will offer the Netherlands the opportunity to become a sustainability leader and to create more green prosperity as a result. In addition to climate legislation, the Transition Coalition is therefore calling on the next government to appoint a minister for economy, climate and energy, to set up an independent authority to guarantee agreements made irrespective of which government is in power, and to establish a national investment bank to facilitate investments in green innovation and major energy projects, Van Oord’s press statement said.

During the climate summit in Paris in December 2015, the participating countries formally agreed to do their best to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees centigrade compared with the pre-industrial era. The Transition Coalition has embraced this agreement and considers it to be a crucial breakthrough in the political decision-making process. For the Netherlands, this means a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 of 80 to 95 percent. At present, Dutch energy policy is fragmented across several governmental departments, with a focus on the short term. Achieving the reductions will require ambition and a shared vision that extends to 2050.

The transition to a nearly carbon emissions neutral society will require no less than a new Delta Plan. Citizens, public authorities and businesses will have to speed up their actions and make major efforts. The energy transition offers the opportunity to develop a new economy, with new revenue models and new jobs. The Transition Coalition believes that this will require an enterprising state that creates space for the market. A long-term, solid policy framework is essential for a rapid and successful implementation, Van Oord noted.

In the proposed climate legislation, specific intermediary objectives must be established for 2030 and 2040. The suggested minister for the economy, climate and energy will ensure that the opportunities offered by the new economy are grasped. The independent authority will guarantee the agreements made for the long term by binding and calling the parties to account regarding a dynamic and consistent implementation, while the proposed national investment bank will facilitate the major investments that will be required.

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