The alliance agreement is frankly misleading about 1.5 degree target

Martin Van Diggle

On December 15, VVD, D66, CDA and CU submitted files coalition agreement. Also because of all the interest in Omicron and the holidays, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at this. This article is about the question: What does the new coalition agree on about how to tackle the climate crisis? What will Rob Getten and his colleagues work on over the next three years?

Intermezzo: By the way, I find “climate crisis” an increasingly less appropriate term. After all, the crisis is usually temporary and after the crisis it returns to normal with a little luck. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the climate crisis, and there are three reasons for this. For starters, we’re still far from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero. Moreover, the warming will continue for a while afterwards due to the greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere. Finally, negative effects such as damage from extreme weather continue to increase gradually. So we are dealing with an escalating crisis that has lasted decades without a return to “normal”. Thus, “persistent climate disruption” may do more justice to what is going on. We welcome other suggestions.

Tightening the 2030 climate goal
Well, back to the alliance agreement. Just like in climate law, this says the Netherlands wants to be climate neutral by 2050 at the latest. The interim 2030 target has been tightened from 49 to 55 percent reduction in CO22 (Compared to 1990, I suppose). To make sure that 55 percent is actually achieved, the goal is to reduce 60 percent by 2030. The tightening to 55 percent was inevitable because it was already decided in Brussels.

It’s also good to see that there are now also intermediate goals for 2035 (minus 70 percent) and 2040 (minus 80 percent). This is a win, because the intermediate targets provide guidance and maintain pressure on the boiler. In this regard, you also expect an intermediate target for 2025, but unfortunately this is missing.

It is also unfortunate that the Netherlands wants to become a “European leader” in the fight against global warming. In light of the impressive record of the three Rutte Reservoirs in the field of climate – consider, for example, the position of the Netherlands in the European sustainable energy ranking and the drama surrounding Urgendavonnis A rather strange ambition. new I have already decided that the Netherlands will not become the frontrunner when it comes to per capita emissions with these goals. So yeah.

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Misleading about target 1.5 degrees
It is very unfortunate – and an understatement – that these targets will not achieve the 1.5 degree limit of warming set out in the Paris Agreement. This is correct. The maximum amount of carbon dioxide associated with a maximum warming of 1.5 degrees2 that may be emitted by mankind. this is carbon budget It will be depreciated in 10 years with current emissions, and if we start reducing emissions quickly, we can continue for a few more years. In any case, climate neutrality in 2050 is clearly too late for the 1.5 degree target. Maybe 10 to 15 years too late. I wrote earlier that the Netherlands measures itself by its own climate law.

So the new coalition writes that it aims to follow the climate target at a maximum of 1.5 degrees of the Paris Climate Agreement, but has a climate target that it does not quite align with. Then there are only two options: either the coalition partners do not understand this, or they are misleading the good municipality. That’s a tricky conclusion, but it’s not really about the details here.

Much attention to the implementation
On the other hand, it is positive that the implementation of the plans was clearly considered. For example, there will be a new Minister for Climate and Energy. The central government also wants to strengthen its executive power and that of fellow authorities. There will be an independent scientific advisory board (as in the UK) that will evaluate and advise on policies. With the “generational test,” the coalition wants to test policy on the “broad welfare approach.” It could be a way to incorporate future consequences further into current policy. The coalition also wants to get citizens more involved in climate policy. The question in all of this is, of course, how these intentions will work in practice.

It is also interesting that the alliance notes that the implementation of the plans can be hampered by a shortage of professionals. And they want to take action on it.

It is also not unimportant that a lot of money is prepared. There will be a climate and transition fund of €35 billion for the next 10 years. Overall, this sounds like a cautious break in direction in thinking and acting about ongoing weather disruptions.

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The devil in detail
But the seemingly good intentions must also be determined first. As is well known, detailing takes time and, if somewhat politically sensitive: a lot of time.

Take, for example, the plan to create a national isolation program. So it should The National Isolation Program Manifesto From CDA, ChristenUnie, and GroenLinks, among others, served as a foundation. However, the principles of this statement are so inconclusive that it is still very difficult to build a program on them. There are many lines and lines that go through the statement, and the question is who will really guarantee the results. Another question is how to isolate low- and middle-income families. These are questions that can lead to very difficult discussions – also from a political point of view. I have previously argued in favor of establishing a national insulation company, or, if desired, provincial or territorial insulation companies. The mission of this company can be fivefold: to make an offer of isolation, to make a financing offer, to take care of implementation, to ensure quality, and to take care of training a large number of new professionals.

The new alliance also wants the road pricing system in place (again, again). There is also work to be done in aviation. Think about how much the airline ticket tax is and what to do with Lelystad Airport. Also during this cabinet period an ‘integrated solution’ should be put in place again in order to protect the Schiphol axis function and reduce nuisance to the surrounding area. true evergreen. Aviation deflation was not mentioned as a logical option for reducing air pollution, annoying noise, odor and climate damage at all.

And then there’s the lost
There are also serious mistakes in the coalition agreement. Consider, for example, the production of synthetic kerosene, which requires huge amounts of green energy. The scarcity of green electricity needed for heat pumps, data centers and green hydrogen production. And all this so that he doesn’t have to talk about flight deflation.

This massive demand for electricity may be the reason why the Alliance wants to make preparations to build two nuclear power plants. This setup alone can cost up to five billion. Too much money for one person Mission: Impossible. Because how can the Netherlands ensure the safe storage of nuclear waste? Where do we keep things safe for thousands of years? Not to mention finding safe places for the reactors themselves. Because in view of the need for cooling water and the increasing frequency of drying up of rivers, it will be necessary to build on the coast. But taking into account the rise in sea level in general and dramatic Thwaites Glacier News In particular, this will be a very expensive process. Then there is the support side among the locals. PBL . is already being placed Question marks about plans to build two nuclear power plants, as well as the feasibility of reducing emissions by 60% by 2030.

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Or take the following passage: “We are investigating possibilities of phasing out fiscal incentives for fossil fuels and then ending fiscal incentives for these fuels where possible. We do that as much as possible with other countries, with the goal of our business climate.” Therefore, further research, as if the billions of subsidies the Netherlands keeps with artificially cheap fossil fuels, has not been discussed for years. The coalition just leaves a quick win Comfort.

Summarization
All things considered, my impression of the coalition agreement in terms of tackling climate change is not positive. The agreement is frankly misleading about the feasibility of a 1.5-degree target. On the other hand, intermediate (tightened) targets have been formulated for the years 2030, 2035 and 2040. A lot of money has been allocated and a lot of attention is given to implementation. But there is still a significant amount of work to be done before CO2 can be significantly reduced2 goes in the air. Unfortunately, there are also such big mistakes as the selection of nuclear power plants and synthetic kerosene.

In general, despite the tight interim goals, this does not offer the approach you would expect given the problem of climate disruption. It is clear that the coalition does not want to make it difficult for the climate file. In this way it protects itself from a temporary target in 2025, it only attends to extreme intentions and puts off the real pain for a while. The need is not enough yet.

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