Dutch climate plans will miss targets: advisory body

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The Netherlands - one of the European Union’s biggest polluters - looks set to miss its own target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade, its main environmental advisory body said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen coming out of chimneys at the Tata steel plant in Ijmuiden, Netherlands April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

A recent raft of environmental initiatives would cut emissions to 43%-48% below 1990 levels by 2030, if the plans are all rolled out on time, research institute PBL said.

But that would be less than the 49% target that Dutch authorities have set for 2030. The EU-wide goal for CO2 emissions over the next 10 years is a 40% cut.

The Netherlands - home to many large industries, Europe’s main seaport and an abundant supply of cheap natural gas - was fifth in the rankings of the bloc’s top CO2 emitters per capita in 2017, ahead of Germany and Poland.

The government presented a range of measures in July to reach its climate goals - which ultimately aim to make the Dutch economy almost completely carbon neutral by 2050.

Those measures include an emissions tax for industry, subsidies to stimulate home insulation, the banning of coal fired power plants and a major push for solar, wind and other sustainable sources of energy.

But the plans have yet to be implemented and many details remain unclear.

“Work has got to start now”, the PBL said. “Energy companies, industries, home and car owners, farmers and governments: we all need to get going.”

Emissions in the Netherlands were 15% lower than in 1990 last year, and are expected to be reduced by around 23% next year.

“We are not the only country missing their climate goals”, the PBL’s chief climate researcher Pieter Boot told reporters.

He said other countries including Germany, Britain and France still had to make clear how they are going to make good on their own ambitious promises.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by John Stonestreet and Andrew Heavens