Environmental group urges higher standards in energy efficiency

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The cabinet needs to take a more serious look at reducing emissions.

UTRECHT—The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment says that if the cabinet's policies remain unchanged the Netherlands will meet only half of the environmental goals it has set for 2020

It’s still possible for the cabinet to reach its goals, however. The environmental organisation's rapport numerous suggestions to this end. These include a CO2 surtax on fuel; investment in public transport and electric cars; offshore windmill parks; higher standards for electrical appliances; improved energy efficiency for homes; and an eco-tax on gas. In exchange for a gas tax, it would offer income tax bonuses as a stimulus.

The addition of more offshore windmill parks could deliver 8,000 megawatts of wind energy alone, which would come a long way toward achieving the 2020 goals.

Additional improvement can be gained from better glasshouse energy efficiency in the gardening sector. Changes in cattle feed, and decreased use of artificial fertilizer would also help reduce greenhouse emissions, according to the rapport.

The cabinet plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 2020. By then 20 percent of all energy consumed must be sustainable while the amount of energy used must decline by 2 percent a year.

Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has responded to the criticism, saying there is no reason for concern. She says the cabinet will take additional measures if it appears the goals will not be met. Minister Cramer says the government will also study the suggestions made by the Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment.

Radio Netherlands/Expatica

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