This annual outlook is published as required under the 2019 Dutch Climate Act and is regarded as one of the accountability instruments of Dutch climate and energy policy. Taking adopted and planned policies as the point of reference, Dutch greenhouse gas emissions are projected to decrease by between 39% and 50% in 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This means that the government’s emission reduction target of 55% by 2030 is not yet in view.
Higher climate ambition requires more rapid implementation and more policies
More rapid implementation of existing plans and formulation of additional policies are both needed to achieve the Dutch climate goal for 2030. The government has announced a substantial package of climate measures in their Coalition Agreement. These plans will yield additional reductions, but the reductions projected for 2030 are not yet in line with increasing the target from 49% to 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. As a result, the distance to the target has increased over the past year, while the time within which to achieve the target is shortening. This is one of the conclusions in the Climate and Energy Outlook 2022.
Based on concretely elaborated policies, both adopted and planned, emission levels are projected for 2030 to be 39% to 50% lower than in 1990. The range is due to various uncertainties, leaving a gap of 5 to 16 percentage points (or 12 to 36 megatonnes) to be bridged to the goal of 55% emission reduction by 2030. Some of the plans from the Coalition Agreement that have not yet been worked out (i.e. the proposed policies) can provide an additional reduction of 5 to 6 megatonnes by 2030. These plans include tailored agreements with large emitters, efforts to promote the use of green hydrogen in industry, the definition of standards for hybrid heat pumps, performance agreements with housing corporations and making public facilities more sustainable.
Important part of climate plans still insufficiently elaborated
In addition, some of the climate plans are not yet sufficiently detailed to calculate their impact on emissions. These include the BnG road user charging scheme for passenger vehicles and vans, adjustments to energy taxes, the integrated package of measures to make greenhouse horticulture more sustainable, and the National Programme for Rural Areas (NPLG; to address challenges in the rural area, including reducing nitrogen emissions). Based on previous reduction estimates by the government, this part of the climate plans could yield fewer than 10 megatonnes in additional emission reductions. Again, this will not achieve the climate target with sufficient certainty. Finally, several policy plans in the European Fit for 55 and REPowerEU packages are still being negotiated by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States. These plans are expected to lead to additional tasks for the Dutch Government and resulting policies may yield additional emission reductions, over time.