The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats of our time. Ecosystems and biodiversity are being destroyed on a large scale by the system of the free market, with economic growth as the main objective. We, as human beings, are also part of these ecosystems; our living environment is also under pressure from extreme changes as a result of this crisis. One of the examples is the quality of air in the Netherlands, which is very worrying because of high emissions from agriculture, industry and traffic.
It is our responsibility to find a just solution. In any case, such a solution has drastic consequences for the mindsets of profits governments and large companies have. International justice and solidarity are essential to a solution. Countries that are economically exploited are the first to suffer the consequences of this crisis, just as, unfortunately, they are the first victims of international emergencies more often. Climate justice cannot exist without combating such climate racism.
The only way to achieve a solution is radical system change. We will have to rethink the way we produce in order to achieve a green, circular and sustainable society. We don’t have much time left to turn the tide. We must act swiftly, decisively and fairly. Within the Netherlands, we want to take measures in the areas of policy, energy, emissions, agriculture, nature and the environment. In international cooperation, we want to steer in the areas of industry, trade and lobbying. In doing so, we have the following key points in mind.
THE NETHERLANDS: POLICY, EMISSIONS AND ENERGY
- The Dutch government will immediately proclaim the climate crisis. The urgency of this crisis must be officially recognised so that it can be acted upon.
- All government policy must be tested for sustainability and impact on climate and the environment, including policies created in the past.
- Dutch greenhouse gas emissions must be at least 75% lower in 2025 than in 1990 and will be at 0 by 2030. These targets are laid down by law and are binding.
- We’ll organise a pilot for a citizens’ forum (formed through a random selection), with the ultimate aim of using this formula in decision-making on, among other things, climate and ecological justice.
- There will be no new licences for oil and gas fields, on land or at sea. There will be a rapid and decisive phase-out plan for the current oil and gas production, in which fair solutions for the employees are paramount.
- The winning of gas in Groningen will stop completely. The government recognises its share in the damage caused by this operation and all those affected are immediately compensated fully and fairly. The government itself then claims this compensation from the responsible companies.
- Subsidies on (the production of) fossil fuels and financial support to the fossil industry will be terminated as soon as possible, but no later than 2022. Subsidies for biomass plants will be stopped immediately.
- Substantial investments are being made in (new) sustainable energy alternatives, so that all coal-fired power stations can be closed as soon as possible.
- The budget for the fund for green energy will be increased. This takes account of the income position of people, so that lower incomes are not presented with the bill for the required energy transition.
- In 2030, 75% of the housing will be insulated to a high standard. Municipalities, housing corporations and landlords will have resources and binding targets prescribed by the government for this purpose.
NATURE AND TRANSPORT
- The Multi-Year Programme for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport will become an accessibility fund with the aim to not only finance better public transport, but also (local) facilities for cycling. An accessibility standard will be established against which all financing plans will be tested. This standard determines the maximum geographical distance between citizens and access to public transport.
- Public transport companies will be de-privatised and public transport will be free of charge.
- Public transport will be fully electric by 2030.
- We are committed at European level to create a European rail network in a sustainable way as soon as possible. Flights within Europe can be phased out this way.
- Schiphol must not be allowed to expand further. The plans for Lelystad Airport will also be halted. Flights within the Kingdom (and Suriname) must remain affordable in the event of any price increase as a result of measures to reduce air traffic.
- We are going to levy VAT on paraffin. Lower taxes for aviation should no longer exist.
- We will stop widening motorways and only build new roads if they promote the accessibility standard whilst not at the expense of natural areas.
- Biodiversity must become a priority. Mowing policy will be adapted to give nature more space and more (small) ecosystems in parks and nature reserves will be created.
- All nature reserves are the province’s responsibility. They will be given objectives in the areas of biodiversity and wildlife, among others.
- A national tree-planting plan will be drawn up to significantly increase the number of trees in the Netherlands in the foreseeable future and eventually go as far as to double it.
- The manure policy of intensive livestock farming must become much stricter in order to combat the pollution of surrounding areas and water. Our views on agriculture are set out in more detail in the Agriculture and Fisheries chapter.
- There will be a national ban on fireworks for private individuals. Firework shows or light shows can be organised by municipalities at central locations.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: INDUSTRY, TRADE AND LOBBIES
- The Netherlands must be committed to a major overhaul of European agricultural policy, with subsidies being granted only to green agriculture.
- The Netherlands will not sign treaties if they contain rights of claim, lead to intensification of agriculture, increase emissions or accelerate deforestation. Examples of such treaties are CETA, EU-Mercosur and TTIP, from which we will withdraw.
- The Netherlands must be committed to large-scale cooperation within the UN when it comes to combating the climate crisis.
- There will be a total ban on the import, trade and transit of products originating from deforestation operations.
- Diplomatic support for projects related to (the production of) fossil fuels will be ended. Companies that invest heavily in fossil fuels will be excluded from trade missions.
- Financing deforestation, land grabbing and the production of fossil fuels will become impossible for both private and public financial institutions.
- There will be greater transparency about the lobbying activities of fossil fuel and other polluting industries through a publicly published lobby register. This register will provide information on which organisations employ lobbyists, what they lobby for, and the financial resources they devote to it each year.
- Companies responsible for causing climate damage and humanitarian disasters are held responsible for crimes against people and nature.
- There will be a ban on advertising for the fossil industry.