Dutch MPs call for tougher climate action

Parliament debates government proposal for domestic measures to curb emissions

Dutch MPs have called for stronger actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions during a twelve-hour debate on the Kyoto climate protocol held by the lower house of parliament yesterday. Politicians from various parties supported the government's overall strategy, but criticised its proposals for domestic actions as too soft and not adequate (ENDS Daily 23 June). MPs proposed amendments including an obligation to buy sustainable energy. They also want the government to negotiate a similar EU-wide obligation and an EU-wide system of exchangeable emission rights. In addition, the parties want half of all newly built houses to get a subsidised solar energy system. Further, on the domestic front, the energy saving advice scheme should be made free or low cost in order to boost consumer interest, the municipalities as well as provinces ought to be bound by an energy saving covenant and the most energy efficient household appliances should be subsidised more. Two parties also called on the government to postpone the closure of the Netherlands' only nuclear power station, which is currently scheduled for 2004. The country's environment and economics ministers, present at the debate, rejected the proposition immediately. The government will respond to the suggestions shortly. The Netherlands plans to meet half of its Kyoto protocol commitment of reducing emissions by 6% between 1990 and 2008-2012 by domestic measures and the other half through the use of "flexible mechanisms" such as emissions trading. The parliament will debate the flexible mechanisms later this year.

Follow Up:
Dutch parliament, tel: +31 70 312 9350.

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