Read more about: Agriculture Climate policy Climate Science Energy Country NDCs (NDCs) Paris Agreement UN`s climate talks The Netherlands The Urgenda Agriculture Foundation`s greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands must be reduced by 25% (compared to 1990) by the end of 2020. This was decided by the District Court in The Hague in 2015 in the Case of the Urgenda Foundation against the Dutch State. The Hague Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court upheld the court`s order in 2018 and 2019. The Supreme Court ruled that the Court of Appeal has been authorised and may decide that the Dutch state is obliged to achieve the 25% reduction by the end of 2020, since the risk of climate change could also have serious repercussions on the law and well-being of the people of the Netherlands. The government will continue to do everything in its power to achieve this goal. This was not only confirmation of the state`s commitment to urgently reduce emissions, but it was the first time that a court in the world had decided that a government had explicit obligations to protect the human rights of its citizens in the face of climate change. Perhaps the government is having the coronavirus crisis. Compared to the spending programs put in place in response to the pandemic, a climate program, which would be huge every year, now seems weak and has not attracted much attention. There are more than 1,500 ongoing or closed complaints worldwide, including similar cases in Ireland and Norway, but this is by far the most successful to date. Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, said the Dutch case was “the strongest decision on climate change ever made by a court” and the only one to have imposed government policy. The Dutch government believes that public and social support is essential to the success of climate policy and helps citizens take climate action themselves.
For example, reducing household energy consumption is supported financially. In Urgenda`s complaint, the Dutch state was ordered by the Hague court to take further measures to reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands and to ensure that emissions levels in 2020 are at least 25% lower than in 1990. In October 2018, this decision was upheld by the Hague Court of Appeal. The case is currently being considered by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The Dutch government had previously failed to meet the 2020 reduction targets in the run-up to the December 2015 Paris Agreement. With this climate agreement, the Dutch government seems to have committed to meeting its 2030 climate targets. So far, the climate agreement has only been signed by coalition partners and can be amended. The Dutch climate agreement, presented in the summer of 2019, is the result of cooperation between industry, the energy sector, trade unions, environmental groups and citizens` groups.
We will continue to inform you of the impact of new climate laws and regulations. The crisis has also given the government some leeway in implementing the policy. Emissions for 2020 will be significantly reduced due to high exposure to economic activity. Pieter Boot, head of climate at the Dutch Environment Agency, estimates that even a brief blockage could bring in more than 5 million euros of the total annual amount. The case marked the end of a six-year legal battle with the non-profit Urgenda Foundation and was seen as an important step in climate justice. David Boyd, THE UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, called it “the most important decision by the World Court for Climate Change to date.” And the Dutch government has so far refrained from making additional plans. In a letter on 31 January, Economy and Climate Minister Eric Wiebes said the cabinet would continue to work on emission reduction measures, while ministers met with Urgenda Director Marjan Minnesma in February to discuss options.