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    Dutch PM Calls for 55% Emissions Cut


Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte has called for the European Union to raise its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 55%.

by: Mark Smedley

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Dutch PM Calls for 55% Emissions Cut

Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte, in a speech to the European Parliament June 13 called for the European Union to set an example by raising its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 55%, from the current 40% legally adopted target –  both relative to 1990.

The speech did not discuss the impact on the gas sector, or the EU’s manufacturing competitiveness. He first called for a 55% target in March 2018, but this time he addressed it to a much wider audience.

Rutte said: “The current EU target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 predates the Paris Climate Agreement. But it isn’t enough. Not if we’re to play our part in keeping global warming below two degrees. Let alone aim at one-and-a-half degrees, as we agreed in Paris.

“So, for a Paris-compatible EU target we need to raise the bar. I am proposing a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Not only to meet our obligations, but also because a competitive and forward-looking Europe is by definition a sustainable Europe. Can it be done? Absolutely! As long as we, the member states, Commission and European Parliament, all make it our goal. And that’s what I’m asking you today. Together with countries like France, the Netherlands wants to lead the way on this new climate ambition,” the Dutch PM added.

Rutte also said: “Brexit will leave a big hole in our circle. The only positive effect is that it has made the other 27 member states even more aware of the importance of unity.”

In his speech, strap-lined 'A Union of Rules in an Unruly World', the Dutch PM also expressed gratitude for EU support for Netherlands in “jointly calling for Russia to accept responsibility” after the recent publication of the official report on the MH17 downing in 2014; he did not however propose further economic measures against Russia. Dutch firms like Shell, GasTerra and Gasunie are partners of Gazprom.

(Banner photo of Mark Rutte, courtesy of European Parliament)