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Earth Day. News from The Netherlands: one bad (earlier Overshoot Day), one good (drop in emissions)

Netherlands. One bad and one good news. Today Earth Day.

(The bad) Last 12 April 2023 was the Dutch Overshoot Day, the day when the Dutch have used the global biocapacity available for the year. In other words, if everyone on Earth lived like the Netherlands, 3.6 Earths would be needed. This over-exploitation of the planet is at the root of climate change, biodiversity- and the nitrogen-crisis. Read more here (great material).

(The good) Last Friday, April 14 the Dutch Emission Authority (Nederlandse Emissieautoriteit – NEa) reported that the amount of carbon dioxide CO2 discharged by large Dutch industrial companies had their biggest decline in 15 years. Total emissions by all companies which fall under the European emissions trading system fell 7,6%. Total CO2 emissions in 2022 amounted 68,5 million ton (Mton), 5,6 Mton less tha 2021. And compared to 2019, before COVID, reduction was even more significat around 20%.

NEa is tasked with executing, collecting, and monitoring compliance with CO2 emission targets. Companies which fall under the NEa’s supervision must buy rights to emit CO2.

Of 344 industrial installations covered by the system, 328 registered CO2 emissions in 2022. Of these, 23 installations account for around 80% of the total amount of CO2 emissions nationwide. DOW Chemical, Chemelot and fertilizer producer Yara are mentioned for their significant reductions. You can download an Excel file indicating each individual company and do your own calculations.

On the other hand, accounting for some 8% of the total, there was no change in the volume of CO2 discharged by the four Dutch coal-fired power stations. Due to the higher gas prices because of the European energy crisis, the cap of CO2 emissions for coal-fired power plants that should have come into effect on January 2022 was postponed. And these power stations were allowed to remain operating at full capacity.

NEa director Mark Bressers said that "Given that gas prices may not return to their previous levels immediately, I do believe this may drive industry to become greener".

Click at the image below for a small article at Dutchnews and here for the full information (in Dutch).


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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