COP26 has finished, so what does it indicate for Dutch local climate policy?

Marjan Minnesma is cautiously optimistic. Image: Robin Utrecht ANP / Hollandse Hoogte

It’s been a couple weeks since the finish of the weather convention in Glasgow, wherever delegates from approximately 200 nations signed a new arrangement to stop temperatures growing earlier mentioned 1.5 levels. But, what does that necessarily mean for Dutch local climate policy?

Marjan Minnesma, the director of weather organisation Urgenda, is optimistic
about the results. ‘I could be pessimistic, and that will guide you to a darkish position,’ she states, ‘but some fantastic and needed measures ended up made.’

Minnesma and Urgenda hit the headlines when they brought a scenario from the Dutch authorities in 2013 – winning it two a long time later in court. It was the initial situation in Europe that recognised the government’s responsibility of treatment to its citizens in regard to local climate transform.

Considering that then, the Supreme Courtroom has upheld the decreased court ruling that the federal government have to do a lot more to minimize greenhouse fuel emissions, and campaigners in other nations have opted to take a similar method.

Minnesma highlights the good results of Cop26, these kinds of as counties agreeing to period down the use of fossil fuels and China and the US recognising we are in a local climate crisis.

‘The wording is genuinely critical because it refers to a basic consensus that we are in a disaster. This is helpful for the local weather situations being brought against governments somewhere else. It has a snowball effect,’ she claims.

Coverage shift

The summit confirmed that the political tide is also turning, highlighted by the Dutch u-switch on public financing for fossil fuel initiatives abroad.

The initial refusal was a central concept in a 40,000 strong demonstration in Amsterdam on the 1st weekend of the conference – the biggest local weather march that the Dutch cash experienced at any time seen.

‘The two proper-wing get-togethers in federal government feel to act extra on public belief than on science. So it’s important that we hold pushing and that folks preserve using also the streets,’ she suggests.

The Netherlands was also in the news from the summit when it proposed an initiative to stage out the use of diesel vehicles and buses by 2040. This is section of a prepare to tackle transportation pollution, which is liable for a 3rd of carbon emissions worldwide. These insurance policies nod to a shift in strategy to climate plan – but are they enough?


‘We require to
scale up weather action enormously for these targets to be fulfilled,’ Minnesma claims. ‘We need to speed up the battle from local weather adjust.’

Very last week, a draft approach for the next coalition was leaked to the Volkskrant, including  climate procedures. The proposed steps integrated lowering Dutch carbon emissions by 55% by 2030.

These targets, suggests Minnesma, are not sufficient. ‘If we want to preserve international warming to 1.5
levels, emissions want to be halved. Which is 65% less emissions than in 1990, and that is the baseline. The Netherlands wants to get a crisis approach to weather change as we do to Covid-19, not a usual Dutch strategy.’


Urgenda has no challenges keeping the Dutch federal government to account, or heading again to court docket if not adequate progress is staying designed.

‘I spoke to the primary minister [Mark Rutte] twice in March,’ she says. ‘I offered him an economical system of how the Netherlands can use 100% sustainable power by 2030. I informed him that if he does not abide by this system I might have to carry one more local climate situation from the government in 10 a long time.

The Netherlands, she states, previously has the indicates to place this in
put. ‘We have all the technological answers, the fertilisers, and the assets at hand,’ Minnesma says. Rutte, she suggests, was ‘enthusiastic about the strategy, so I’m curious to see what the new coalition will come up with.’


Minnesma is just one of hundreds of men and women who walked to Glasgow to go to the
conference, a assertion which she also designed for the local weather talks in Paris in 2015.

Many men and women she fulfilled although walking to Paris didn’t not know about the local climate meeting, but that was not the case this yr.

‘Even taxi motorists in the center of Scotland would talk to ‘Are you going to Cop26?’ and available to give us a lift. A ton has adjusted, even in five yrs.’

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