Conditions for greening the Dutch economy

04-03-2013 | Publication

Greening the economy is a major and necessary task for the world as a whole as well as for the Netherlands. Using energy, raw materials and natural resources more efficiently will strengthen the structure of the Dutch economy. This is necessary, given the expected quadrupling of the world economy over the next forty years, the associated environmental impacts and the increasing scarcity of raw materials and natural resources.It is important that the Dutch Government sketches a clear perspective on greening for citizens and businesses.

Greening the economy is a global challenge

Over the next 40 years, the world population is expected to increase from 7 to 9 billion and the world economy to quadruple in size. This will lead to a growing demand for energy, food, water and materials. Due to this increasing demand combined with accelerated climate change and continuing biodiversity loss, we run great risks, globally. The challenge is therefore to achieve ‘green’ growth by making more efficient use of natural resources and by doing less damage to the environment and nature.

The Netherlands has an interest in greening its economy

The Dutch economy is heavily dependent on imports of energy and other natural resources. By improving the efficiency in the use of energy and other materials, the resilience of the Dutch economy can increase. Companies, thus, would be less sensitive to price increases. Simultaneously, the greening of the economy would lead to a cleaner environment, and because cleaner air results in less health loss, it is an important benefit to society.

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Greening as a common interest

Greening the economy may serve to guide, inspire and bring together the business community, the general public and the government. Companies and the government need one another to be able to take steps towards a greener economy and to seize the opportunities that this presents.