Minister Wiebes outlines approach to meet climate agreement


The ISPT is happy with the first steps taken to initiate the formation of the climate agreement. In a letter sent to the Dutch house of representatives on February 23rd, minister Wiebes outlines his plans for the upcoming climate agreement . In the letter he points to the large reduction potential that especially the industrial sector has to help meet the ambitious climate goals to bring back CO2 emissions by 49% in the year 2030.

For input he spoke with many organisations including the representatives for sustainable development within the industry and asked them about their commitment and input regarding the new climate agreement. The ISPT recognises the fact that most of these representatives already had concrete and far-reaching plans.

The ISPT acknowledges the statement that simply moving the industry elsewhere would result in jobs being lost locally while the global CO2 emissions would remain the same and that moving the industry to countries that have less strict emission laws would in fact have a negative impact on global CO2 emissions. We should be aiming for Dutch infrastructure and techniques serving as an example for innovation efforts worldwide.

Minister Wiebes notes that to meet our climate goals we will need to innovate and we need to cooperate. The ISPT supports his view that the climate agreement asks for intensive sector-transcending interaction in the industrial fields of heat-exchange, electricity generation, energy storage, infrastructure and circularity. He points to an example where the industry can provide a useful functionality to the energy sector.

In the letter he emphasizes that we need to aim for maximal efficiency and an intelligent future oriented cost perspective. Measures that are more cost efficient now may be less efficient by the year 2050. While measures that may not have a financially attractive payback period at the moment could very well have a cost effective path towards 2050. He acknowledges that because most industries operate within a competitive market increasing sustainability needs to go hand in hand with cost-effective measures, accelerated innovation and a greener demand. In the climate agreement subsidies and financial incentives will therefore also need to be warranted.

He points out that technologies that will be able to make a substantial contribution to the energy transition between 2030 and 2050 are currently still in the research stage of development and that they deserve our attention so that we may benefit in the longer term. The focus should be on techniques that can contribute to the Dutch as well as the global climate challenge and to the earning power of the Dutch economy. These are technologies like the usage of hydrogen, the usage of CO2 as a raw material (Carbon Capture and Use, CCU) and the development of advanced biofuels.

The five sector tables he has formed will enable different parties who can contribute to the transition in a concrete way to share knowledge and make mandated decisions. The aim is to formulate the mainlines based on the meetings with the different parties by this summer and to start the execution of the agreement in 2019. Read the challenges for the industry sector table here.