Assessment of the Climate Act
The Climate Act came into force in the Netherlands on 1 September 2019. The aim of this act is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2. Excessive greenhouse gas in the atmosphere change the climate and have negative consequences for people and the natural environment.
Tasks of the Advisory Division
The task of the Advisory Division of the Council of State by virtue of the Climate Act is to review the climate policy implemented by the government.
The Climate Act sets out climate goals for the Netherlands. The target for 2050 is to emit 95% less greenhouse gas than in 1990. In order to achieve that goal it is the intention that, by 2030, the Netherlands will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions with 49% compared to 1990 and that electricity production will be completely CO2-neutral by 2050.
Aside from climate goals, the Climate Act also contains a policy framework for achieving these objectives. The act therefore provides three policy instruments: a five-yearly Climate Plan, a two-yearly Progress Report and an annual Climate Memorandum.
The government must draft a Climate Plan every five years, containing the main elements of the climate policy for the next ten years. And every year, in principle on the fourth Thursday in October, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate sends a Climate Memorandum to the Senate and the House of Representatives. This memo contains the minister’s response to the annual report from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (the climate and energy investigation) regarding the progress of the climate policy. Every two years after the Climate Plan, a Progress Report is published, which may contain supplementary policy in order to achieve the goals established in the Climate Act.
The Advisory Division reviews whether the government can achieve the climate goals set out in the Climate Act with the Climate Plan, Climate Memorandum and Progress Report.