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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME


11 September 2017

Netherlands’ new administration to appoint Minister of Climate Affairs for the first time

The newly elected Dutch administration will reportedly expand its Ministerial chairs, and the expansion will include a Minister of Climate Affairs, - a first for the Dutch governmental configuration up until now.

According to reports from the Dutch media company De Telegraaf, the new Dutch cabinet will most likely include three additional Ministers, - Minister for Immigration and Integration, Minister for Climate Affairs and Minister for Agriculture.

Environmental and climate change issues fell under the umbrella of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

According to Clean Technica, the conservative centre- right parties that have dominated the Dutch political scene for the past decade are responsible for the country’s low performance on climate change mitigation efforts, i.e. the Netherlands was found to be the only EU member state which is not on track for reaching the 2020 EU targets set under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

The country’s last climate action plan was published in 2014 and was criticised for not comprising a robust climate change mitigation plan.

After the general elections held in March,  the centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) formed a coalition with also centre-right D66, and the Christian parties Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and ChristenUnie, - a coalition which is expected to bring new developments in the country’s green image.

During the pre-election campaign, both D66 and ChristenUnie have included in their agendas promises for a greener future.

D66, a proponent of liberal economics- oriented environmental solutions, has advocated for a strengthening of the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and bringing down emissions through international cooperation.

ChristenUnie, has put natural resource sustainable management and preservation through stewardship in the core of its campaign.

With the appointment of a Minister of Climate Affairs, the Netherlands is entering a phase where climate change issues are being given more attention and is expected to mark a turning point for the country’s environmental image.

The exact portfolio that the Minister will hold is still being negotiated in the formation talks between the coalition parties.

According to the Telegraaf, in the new cabinet, the VVD will have six ministers, the CDA and D66 will each have four and the ChristenUnie will have two, although it has not yet been revealed where the Minister of Climate Affairs will belong.

Earlier this week, the government of the Netherlands was ordered by the District Court in The Hague to take immediate action to reduce air pollution levels, as air pollution levels in some parts of the country are violating EU’s legal particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels. 

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