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All of the Netherlands’ climate plans in a row, including mobility plans

April 28, 2023

Distribute burdens as fairly as possible

With the package of measures announced, “the Netherlands is catching up in one fell swoop, the joys and burdens are shared as fairly as possible and the green economy of the future is strengthened.” At least, that is what Jetten communicates.

“An additional contribution is required from all sectors. The measures will provide an additional emission reduction of about 22 megatons, which is expected to meet the target of 55%-60% reduction in CO2 emissions in 2030 compared to 1990,” Jetten said.

Limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees

The world faces the challenge of combating climate change and limiting global warming to no more than 2° and preferably 1.5° Celsius. It is also the responsibility of the Netherlands, as a wealthy country that has produced many emissions, to energetically reduce emissions and thus contribute to the prevention of increasingly severe consequences of climate change.

In the coming decades, the Netherlands will go through a transition that will demand something of everyone. At the same time, the government is convinced that the Netherlands can meet this challenge as a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial country. And that it can achieve much: the great revolution will make the Netherlands more beautiful, cleaner and more innovative.

Minister Jetten: “The Netherlands has been lagging behind the climate goals for years. Now is the time to make the big leap. At the same time, all Dutch people must be able to make the transition. Especially the people for whom this is less the case now. Climate policy must work for everyone. That’s why we are going to use subsidies to encourage more solar panels on rental properties and we are going to give priority to making the most drafty houses in the most vulnerable neighborhoods more sustainable.”

Climate Package

Climate package: fair, feasible, ambitious

This package focuses on feasible measures. In addition, the government believes it is crucial that climate policy will work for everyone, regardless of where they live, age or income. Particularly for people who, because of money worries, limited time or fewer digital skills, are not yet able to keep up.

The cabinet is taking measures to better support and relieve this group. Also, the cabinet chooses measures that strengthen the future, sustainable earning capacity of the Netherlands. After all, this is where opportunities lie for companies to lead the way: with sustainable products, circular production processes or with innovative, climate-friendly applications – the business models of the future.

Objectives by sector

The goal is for the Netherlands to emit at least 55% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 1990. In doing so, the administration wants to build in certainty so that setbacks can be absorbed. Therefore, the Cabinet is aiming for a higher task in practice, which amounts to about 60%. To close the remaining gap, the cabinet is coming up with a 22-megaton package, in addition to the coalition agreement. Additional contribution requested from each sector. The size of that contribution is based on the potential within the sectors to reduce CO2 emissions faster through 2030.


Renewable electricity

The electricity sector will be carbon-free by 2035. To achieve this, the cabinet wants to realize 3 gigawatts of solar energy at sea by 2030, gas power plants will be converted to use hydrogen and a battery requirement for solar parks will be introduced.

Sustainable and circular industry: 

Energy-intensive industry is net climate neutral by 2040, the European Emissions Trading System ensures. With this package, an additional contribution is requested from the industry. To achieve this, new energy sources and carriers (such as hydrogen), among others, are being scaled up. The cabinet is also committed to less incineration and more recycling at waste incineration plants and is implementing a ban on fossil heat generation for new and to-be-replaced industrial production facilities. To accelerate the transition to a circular industry, from 2027 all plastics must consist of at least 25-30% recycled or biomaterial. The government is also raising the ambition level of the customization agreements so that more emissions are reduced at the largest emitters through this route.

Sustainable buildings and offices

By2050,all buildings will be emission-free and natural gas-free. This will be developed into a standard. To meet this goal, the government is allocating additional funds in the coming years to make homes in vulnerable neighborhoods where energy poverty is prevalent and wants to use subsidies to encourage more solar panels to be installed on rental homes. By setting standards, the government is encouraging more biobased is being built. For business parks and SMEs, the government is developing a targeted de-skilling approach.   

Sustainable transportation and transport

In2050,we drive cleanly in the Netherlands – with no harmful exhaust emissions. The government wants to grow the share of electric cars for work travel. Employers are incentivized to encourage employee use of electric cars, public transportation, or bicycles. To make electric driving quickly attractive to a large group of Dutch people, the government is subsidizing the purchase of a used electric car. At the same time, the government is investing in additional charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, so that a faster rollout of electric driving is actually possible in city and region.

RAI Association: BPM pays for energy transition

RAI Association agrees that mobility should and can contribute to reducing CO2. At the same time, driving must remain affordable.

“To really boost the transition to sustainable mobility, the purchase of a new clean and fuel-efficient car must be made possible for more people. Increasing the purchase tax (BPM) by 200 euros does not help. An increase that also applies to the electric car. 

After all, stimulating sales of new electric cars is also necessary to increase supply for the used market. That the Cabinet is stretching 600 million to subsidize the purchase of used electric cars is a good thing. We do read that this 600 million will be paid for by that increase in the BPM.

It remains contradictory that the bill for making mobility more sustainable must be absorbed within the sector. RAI Association advocates, just as it does for making agriculture and climate sustainable, that there should be a transition fund for mobility.”

RAI Association

Sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture and land use by2050. To this end, the government is taking a single integrated approach in which climate, environmental, water and nitrogen challenges will be addressed through the Agricultural Agreement and the National Rural Area Program. This should fulfill the task of 5 megaton CO2 reduction by 2030. The cabinet has also reached agreements with the sector on accelerated sustainability of greenhouse horticulture through the introduction of a CO2 tax in combination with the rollout of heat networks and subsidies (SDE++) for the application of heat pumps.

Fiscal adjustments

The energy tax is adjusted so that sustainability pays and polluters pay more. There will be a new reduced rate for part of household gas consumption and a separate tax rate for hydrogen, lower than the rate for gas. The cabinet is abolishing the tax break for coal by January 1, 2028, and will propose in the Budget Memorandum whether, and if so how, remaining tax exemptions for fossil energy can be phased out.

Climate Fund

The climate fund is the main instrument to finance the measures. In preparation for decision-making on this package, a total of more than 80 measures were submitted to the Minister of Climate and Energy and then independently assessed by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). A total of 28.1 billion euros will be released for climate spending.

Jetten on moblity

Minister Jetten (Climate and Energy) informs the House of Representatives about additional climate measures in the letter below. You can read the section on mobility below.

“By 2050, Dutch traffic and transport no longer emits harmful exhaust gases and CO2, which is good for the climate, the nitrogen challenge and our health. This requires us to change our travel behavior, switching to cleaner transportation. In doing so, it is imperative to the Cabinet that there be sufficient access to transportation for rich and poor, young and old, able-bodied and disabled. Combating climate change must therefore go hand in hand with achieving zero-emission transportation for all Dutch people.

The government is accelerating the entry of zero-emission passenger cars by raising the CO2 target for work-related passenger mobility. This gives employers an incentive to encourage the use of EV, OV or bicycle for both business driving and commuting. In addition, the government is subsidizing the purchase of a used electric car. This is important to make electric driving attractive to a large group of Dutch people quickly. At the same time, the government is investing in additional charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, so that a faster rollout of electric driving is actually possible in city and region.

For heavy transport and freight transportation, the government makes performance agreements with the transport sector on reducing CO2 emissions. The government is also committed to making inland navigation more sustainable – by introducing an emissions label and fuel pricing through the ETS2. The government wants to help the transportation sector do this and is making funds available for the purchase of heavy electric vehicles through a rebate of the truck levy. In addition, money has been set aside for the use of hydrogen in heavy transport on the road and via inland waterways. Shipping is an international sector and does not count toward the national emissions target. Nevertheless, it is important that sustainability be initiated in this sector as well. The Cabinet is therefore setting aside funds for development of sustainable marine vessels.

Because a large proportion of current road traffic will still be driving on fossil fuels in the coming years, the use of biofuels in road traffic will be gradually increased. As electrification continues, an increasing proportion of this will be utilized by transportation for which there are still few alternatives, such as heavy road transportation.”

Minister Jetten (Climate and Energy)