Climate and Energy: Shift in national policies well underway

“The grownups have finally won” analyses The Guardian at the announcement of the UK’s new climate strategy. Called the ‘clean growth strategy’ and published on October 12th, it echoes the choices made two days before by the new Dutch government to in essence revolutionize the Dutch energy system.

Time to be bold, time to clearly set the direction, and there is no ambiguity in the message passed: it is the end of fossil fuels. The centre right coalition which will now govern the country has made a number of announcements in that regard (see analysis in Energy Post). The Netherlands not only just announced a 2030 national target of 49% GHG, it also called on the EU to update its own 40% target to 51%. As regards local authorities, great change will come from the proposal that by 2021 all new housing units will not automatically be connected to the gas network.

Our member, the network of cities committed to fighting climate change Klimaatverbondhas been campaigning for the “right to heat” to replace the current “right to gas” for Dutch households for several years now, and can thus rejoice at this new announcement. 
Stephan Brandligt, Deputy Mayor at the City of Delft, President of Klimaatverbond and member of Energy Cities’ Board of Directors says “changing the right to gas to the right to heat is changing our way of thinking: it is asking what we need energy for, before thinking about how to deliver it; it is looking at use and not at pipes, so I believe it is a radical shift in national energy policies which will allow the local level to play its full potential”.

On the same day, the city of Eindoven took the commitment to divest and the Mayor of London announced the launch of a solar fund to support community projects. And this doesn’t stop here: Slovenia just announced that registration of thermal engine cars would be prohibited as of 2030, the same date announced in Paris’s new climate plan to ban petrol cars from the French capital. The alignment between local commitments and national legal frameworks finally seem well underway, a positive momentum for the success of the energy transition!

Netherlands: On 10 October 2017, the leaders of their respective parties in parliament, presented their new coalition agreement. The agreement is entitled ’Confidence in the Future’.



Claire Roumet

Publication date

October 13, 2017