Decision-making, Implementation and Reform
New Horizons in Environmental Politics series
This chapter examines the Netherlands’ implementation of the EU climate- and energy-policy package to attain 2020 goals: the extent to which and how these policies have been implemented to date, why and with what consequences for Dutch positions on new EU climate policies. The Netherlands is one of the EU’s most fossil-fuel-dependent member-states, with over 90 per cent of its energy mix based on fossil fuels. The authors find that the EU climate and energy package has provided greater stability for Dutch climate and energy policies, establishing both short-term and longer-term targets. However, the Dutch renewables sector has developed slowly, and the Netherlands is lagging considerably behind its EU targets as well as with the pace of renewables deployment in neighbouring countries. Domestic politics proves important in explaining implementation problems: shifting government coalitions with changing priorities; strong industrial interests in maintaining energy affordability; a consensual Dutch policy style that promotes incremental, stepwise changes rather than large-scale industrial and societal transformation; and local opposition to CCS and on-shore windpower development. Mixed experiences with implementation have made the Netherlands prefer a re-packing compromise for 2030 based on a single climate target and the EU ETS.
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