Dutch government emission goals deemed unrealistic

22nd July 2008, Comments 0 comments

A report says the Dutch government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent is unrealistic.

22 July 2008

THE NETHERLANDS - A report produced by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants concludes that the target set by the Dutch government of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 is unrealistic.

The agency warns that significant reductions in emissions cannot be achieved simply by replacing and expanding the current power stations and by domestic energy savings.

There is no scenario, it says, in which the planned reduction can be realised, not even by switching entirely to wind and solar energy - if that were possible.

The international consultancy looked at the Dutch energy sector and identified three main obstacles to reducing emissions: basic consumption levels cannot currently be met by sustainable energy sources, Dutch energy companies are too small to switch successfully to sustainable sources and the government's approach to energy-saving is misguided.

Although it is good that the government is encouraging people to use less energy at home, the researchers note that domestic appliances account for less than 10 percent of the Netherlands' energy consumption.

The real savings, the report argues, are to be made in industry, which is responsible for around two thirds of the country's energy use. The government needs to work together with major industrial players to improve energy efficiency.

The agency cites the state of California, which it says is probably the world leader in terms of energy saving. California's target for 2020 is to reduce CO2 emissions to the level of 1990, compared with the Netherlands' goal of 30 percent less than in 1990.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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