A new study has shown that in order for the Netherlands to stay in line with the “well below 2oC” target enshrined in the Paris Agreement, CO2 emissions from energy production and industry have to reach zero by 2035.

The report ‘What does the Paris Agreement mean for climate policy in the Netherlands’, produced by the NewClimate Institute, outlines that all coal power plants must close before 2020, and that 100% of electricity generation must come from renewables by 2025 at the latest for the Paris targets to be met.

Total greenhouse gas emissions have already decreased by 10% in the Netherlands between 1990 and 2012, however this was mostly due to non-CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions from energy and industry increased by 4% in this timeframe. It is therefore key to reduce these emissions to keep in line with the Paris Agreement.

Netherlands emissions and projections:

The 2015 landmark climate liability court case from the organisation Urgenda saw the court rule that the Dutch emission reduction plans of 14-17% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels were unlawful. The court ordered the government to bring these targets up to at least 25% by 2020. These higher ambition goals can only be met by steep reductions in CO2 emissions from energy and industry.

In order for the 1.5oC target in the Paris Agreement to be met, this ambition would have to be increased even further with long-term mid-century goals.

The NewClimate Institute report also outlines that, for these targets to be met, 100% of personal cars must be electric vehicles between 2025 and 2035. Additionally, the demand for gas for heating in residential and commercial buildings must reach zero by between 2025 and 2035 (from its current level of 90% demand).

For suitable climate action, the outcomes and ambitions of the Paris Agreement must be brought to the national level, and incorporated into national and regional policy. This must happen at a rapid pace, starting now.

To read and download the report, follow this link.

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