Climate scientists want more involvement in Dutch policy

Past cabinets have implemented few effective climate policies and this must change soon, write twelve prominent Dutch climate scientists in a letter.

'Expansion of renewables in energy supply' is needed, the experts say. (Photo: Bill Mead/Unsplash)

The letter (in Dutch) to the cabinet states that the climate goals are achievable but will require ‘far-reaching interventions’. For example, the experts point to ‘a combination of energy conservation, electrification of energy demand, expansion of renewables in energy supply and investments in a stable energy system’.

Delaying action any longer reduces the available options and leads to more damage and higher costs, write the experts, who are affiliated with the UN climate panel IPCC. ‘This will not benefit anyone.’ It is the first time they have come up with concrete policy proposals to the outgoing cabinet.

Plant-based nutrition
For instance, the scientists believe that each ministry should have a top official to assess whether new rules and legislation are in line with climate goals. They also recommend, among other things, subsidising plant-based food and working on reforestation, greening and better water storage.

Among the signatories is TU Delft professor of energy system analysis Kornelis Blok. Since its inception in March 2023, he has also been a member of the Dutch Scientific Climate Council, which is charged with advising Dutch government and parliament on climate policy, solicited and unsolicited.

Outgoing education minister Dijkgraaf said on Dutch television programme Buitenhof earlier this month that he believes there is a bigger role for scientists to play. He said he felt that in the past science had ‘perhaps been a little too cautious’ when it came to climate change. Because: “As a scientist, you also have an important task to look ahead and point out to politicians the risks that are coming.”

HOP, Peer van Tetterode

HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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