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8/18/16

Climate change - alternative energy: Netherlands on brink of banning sale of petrol-fuelled cars - by J. Staufenberg


Europe appears poised to continue its move towards cutting fossil fuel use as the Netherlands joins a host of nations looking to pass innovative green energy laws.

The Dutch government has set a date for parliament to host a roundtable discussion that could see the sale of petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars banned by 2025.

If the measures proposed by the Labour Party in March are finally passed, it would join Norway and Denmark in making a concerted move to develop its electric car industry.

It comes after Germany saw all of its power supplied by renewable energies such as solar and wind power on one day in May as the economic powerhouse continues to phase out nuclear energy and fossil fuels.

And outside Europe, both India and China have demanded that citizens use their cars on alternate days only to reduce the exhaust fume production which is causing serious health problems for the populations of both nations.

The consensus-oriented parties of the Netherlands are set to consider a total ban on petrol and diesel cars in a debate on 13 October.

Richard Smokers, principle adviser in sustainable transport at the Dutch renewable technology company TNO, said the Dutch government was committed to meeting the Paris climate change agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions to 80 per cent less than the 1990 level. The plan requires the majority of passenger cars to be run on CO2-free energy by 2050.

"Dutch cities still have some problems to meet existing EU air quality standards and have formulated ambitions to improve air quality beyond these standards," he told The Independent, adding that the government had at the same time been reluctant to implement strict policies on the environment.

"The current government embraces long term targets and strives at meeting EU requirements, but is hesistant about proposing 'strong' policy measures.

"Instead it prefers to facilitate and stimulate initiatives from stakeholders in society."

If the law to ban the sale of new fossil-fuel cars by 2025 passes, a significant move will have been made towards phasing out all petrol and diesel cars by 2035, added Dr Smokers.

Read more: Climate change: Netherlands on brink of banning sale of petrol-fuelled cars | Climate Change | Environment | The Independent

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