Long-term commitment for national climate policy in the Netherlands

Dutch climate policy is geared excessively to the short term, which is why national climate legislation is needed that binds politicians to a long-term objective for the reduction of greenhouse gases. This will also require a climate authority to monitor the consistent implementation of the climate policy. The WRR states this in Brief Climate policy for the long term: from non-binding to firmly embedded (WRR Policy Brief no. 5, 2016).

Legally based long-term horizon

Such a clear and ambitious long-term strategy is necessary to give direction, coherence and durability to climate-related policy and investment choices. That is why the WRR is arguing for the 2050 objectives to be legally embedded in the form of an emission budget for greenhouse gases. That would send a clear signal about the direction for the long term, without stipulating how the emission reduction would have to be achieved.

Climate authority as a catalyst

The national climate legislation also provides for a climate authority. Its mission will be to keep Dutch climate policy on track by advising, monitoring progress, coordinating policy and boosting the public debate. The UK Committee setting up a Climate Authority can serve as an example.