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What does Dutch climate policy look like?

The Netherlands is a country of innovation and progress. One element that is inextricably linked to this, is the climate. Globally, the climate is a hot and important topic that we cannot escape from in this era. The Netherlands has ambitious climate goals and is part of various international climate-agreements.



Climate adaption


Due to the low-lying of the Netherlands, it’s vital that the country doesn’t only work against climate change but that it also prepares itself for the effects of climate change. Dikes get strengthened, rivers widened, and the land is made resistant to extreme rainfall. By this way, the Netherlands wants to minimize problems caused by climate change. This so-called 'climate adaptation' is crucial to prevent problems now, but also a more sustainable solution must be sought in reducing greenhouse gases.


International agreements


The Netherlands is committed to various international initiatives and agreements, such as the United Nations Climate Change Convention (1992), the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the UN Climate Agreement in Paris (2016). The Paris climate agreement comes into effect in 2020 and aims to reduce emissions by at least 40 percent in the European Union by 2030. Within this agreement, the Netherlands is a forerunner, as they strive to reduce emission by 55 percent.


National agreement


On a national level, the Netherlands is also doing a lot against reducing greenhouse gas emission. The Dutch Climate Act was created to give businesses and citizens insight into climate goals and to reduce CO2 emissions. The Netherlands is aiming for 49 percent less CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. By 2050 the country wants to emit 95 per cent less greenhouse gasses than in 1990. These ambitious goals are implemented in the Climate Plan; which gets an update every five years. A new plan is drawn up every ten years. The first Climate Plan applies from 2021 to 2030 and contains the main points of climate policy in the Netherlands. The climate plan also includes the latest scientific insights in the field of climate, and attention is paid to the economic consequences of the policy.


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