Are the Dutch going green?

21 Jan 2019 - 12:46
Source: Joop van der Laan/flickr

Since autumn 2017, a new wind has been blowing in the Netherlands on the topic of climate and energy policy. The new government pledged to become a European climate frontrunner with an emission reduction target of 49% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This decision was made in the context of angry citizens protesting against domestic natural gas production leading to earthquakes, and a court ruling urging the government to step up short-term climate action in line with climate science.

Now, at the start of 2019, we are witnessing the end game of a typical Dutch bottom-up negotiating process - known as ‘polderen’ - leading to a national Climate and Energy Agreement, involving government, industry and civil society. It is increasingly questioned if this process is suitable to deliver broad-based societal consensus on how to tackle climate change towards 2030 and beyond.

In this policy brief authors Paul Hofhuis and Louise van Schaik discuss the political context and policy proposals made and point to some dark clouds hanging over the realisation of the ambitious objectives.