Dutch Emissions Down 5%, Partly Due To Climate Change

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CBS, a Dutch government agency that gathers statistical information, reported this Tuesday that greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands were almost 5% lower in 2014 than they were in 2013. Meanwhile, the Dutch economy was growing at a rate of 0.9%, according to the same agency. That’s the kind of news we like to see: increasing our current prosperity while decreasing the negative impact this prosperity will have on the planet and our wellbeing in the future!

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug In Netherlands 11

For one part, this decline of emissions is a direct result of our (still way too small) effort as humans to decrease our carbon footprint. Of course there is much work left to do, but cars are getting cleaner and cleaner, which caused the amount of motor fuels sold to go down. This accounted for 2 billion kilograms of Dutch CO2 being withheld from getting into our air.

The remaining part of the emission decrease can be attributed to a phenomenon that is a result of the emissions themselves: climate change! The year 2014 was an extremely hot one. It was not just the warmest year since 1706 in the Netherlands, but also globally the warmest in modern record. Therefore much less energy was needed to heath houses and other buildings, saving another 6 billon kilograms of CO2 from being emitted.

Dutch greenhouse gas emissions are coming down. The trend is there: current emissions are 15% below their 1990 level. This is not just because of higher temperatures or the event of an economic crises, which definitely played their role in lowering greenhouse gas output as well. It is partly because of serious human effort to use energy more efficiently and to produce energy in a more eco-friendly way. In the future, Dutch emissions will go up and down every time it is abnormally cold or hot, but in the end they will decrease.

In order to get there, we need to put in much more effort than we do now, though, as a judge recently ruled. Although the Dutch government announced today that it will appeal against this ruling, the transition is inevitable. It will just take some more time before the government will completely accept that this is the only way to go. Hopefully it will not take too long.

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15 thoughts on “Dutch Emissions Down 5%, Partly Due To Climate Change

  • Well if all countries would have the same 5% reduction, THAT WOULD BE ONE HUGE STEP, towards CO 2 reductions/climate change.
    And then if that trend would continue that would be even better!

  • Of all western nations the Netherlands should be the most behind efforts to limit and mitigate AGW and Climate Change. Unfortunately their Government is appealing the outcome of the district court order to do the minimum to have any chance of achieving it.

  • One extremely worrying part of the Netherland’s longer term drop in emissions is not mentioned here: carbon dumping.

    As Germany shifted to RE and reduced its electricity demand, many of their coal fired power plants saw there capacity factors drop sharply. All that idle capacity started depressing wholesale electricity prices and German prices dived well below those on the gas-heavy Dutch market.

    The result? Clean-ish gas generation in the Netherlands fell and was (partially) replaced by cheap coal fired imports from Germany. Since carbon emissions are recorded at point of generation rather than point of use, this led to a drop in Dutch emissions on paper.

    Since Germany is due to miss its 2020 carbon targets, they really should start cracking down on exports.

    • Seconded. I’ve been using the term “carbon dumping” for a while.

      The Dutch result – to the extent it came from domestic factors – is striking in that the neoliberal government has a pretty feeble set of policies for emissions reduction, considering the historic vulnerability to floods. Dutch policy is good on evs, which are still too few to have made a significant impact on the statistics. They have an excellent and dense rail system, and are famously bike-friendly, but that hasn’t changed recently. Have industry and agriculture got more efficient?

      • Neoliberals are the enemy of global warming legislation and a push for clean energy.

        These are the guys raking it in from FF interests.

        Republicans, Conservatives, UKIP, Harper and Abbott – all supporters of FF, all given large amounts of bribes (that’s what it is) by FF companies….

        The world will never change fast enough whilst we keep voting for these morons.

      • Question: what is a neoliberal government (seriously, the term has no clear definition) and how does the Dutch government fit the most common Anglosaxon interpretation of the word? It’s a coalition of a classically liberal and a social-democratic party.

        Can we please put a moratorium on ‘neoliberal’ until there is a clear definition? Now it’s just an amorphous, vague term that means little more than ‘a person or policy a typical left wing voter does not like’. In that, it is the mirror image of that other vague term, ‘crypto-communist’.

        • Fair enough. I use the term as roughly equivalent to your “classically liberal”, the Gladstonian version, to distinguish it from the peculiar American “liberal” meaning “progressive, social democratic”.

          In defence, the vocabulary is all over the place now as traditional social-democratic parties like British Labour and the German SDP have unmoored themslves from any even vaguely socialist agendas like reducing inequality, and adopted a Gladstonian economic policy of thrift, laissez-faire and balanced budgets.

      • My father came back from a trip to the Netherlands quite recently. He must have been walking along the beach near the oil refineries because he brought me back a shell as a present. (And some chocolate Hargle, bless his soul.)

        • What the hell is ‘Hargle’? Are you referring to ‘hagel’, more commonly known as mouse shit?

          • Well that’s bizarre. I specifically looked up how to spell it correctly and then and went and mispelled it anyway. Mouse shit is illegal to bring into Australia, so I had to settle for artifical chocolate mouse shit. And it’s just occured to me that we could send you kangaroo droppings and say they’re specially processed biofuel pellets. Which they are. They’ve just been processed inside a kangaroo and there’s no need to mention that. I should look into it. It would nicely compliment my gourmet coffee business. You know that Indonesian coffee that has been passed though the digestive tract of a civet? I make that in Australia at a fraction of the cost. Of course, it’s illegal to import civets into Australia, so I just use cats. They’re close enough. Can be a bit hard to handle when they’re strung out on caffeine though.

          • It’s the chocolate hagel we call ‘muizenstrontjes’ (mouse droppings) here. The real thing is also known as muizenstrontjes actually. Hmmm.

            How do you get your cats to survive eating the coffee berries? Or did Australians invent disposable use-once cats? If so, can I buy a box? Would be great for my cat-loving little nephew. And by ‘loving’ I mean ‘abusing’.

          • Well, the goal is for the coffee beans to stay mostly intact, so I presume they aren’t absorbing too much in the way of caffeine or other toxins. And possibly conditions in Australia have resulted in particularly durable cats. The feral and domestic cat gene pools do mingle quite a bit. I can send you feral cat pelts, but not live cats, as live animal exports are under a lot of scrutiny at the moment and some overseas breeders won’t take Australian stock because of unfounded rumours about monsterism in Australian cat lines.

          • The beans (seeds) stay intact, but you feed the civets the whole berry. For omnvirous civets that’s fine in moderate quantities, but I doubt cats handle it well – pretty much every houseplant is potentially lethal to them after all.

            Pelts are nice, but I doubt they will be enough to allow my nephew to do his strange hugging-cum-strangling ritual he does with pet cats stupid enough to let him come close.

          • I did notice the results were worse when I roasted the cofee beans first.

            And I just hope your nephew isn’t haemophillic, because excessive moggy coddling by toddlers generally ends in blood. Even with cats that aren’t suffering from monsterism.

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