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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular its Directorate-General for International Cooperation, has the main responsibility for decision-making on international cooperation and assistance for sustainable development. The other ministries contribute in relation to their thematic responsibilities or expertise (e.g. Ministries of: Economic Affairs; Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries; Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment; Transport and Public Works and Water Management; Education, Culture and Science; Finances; Defense; and Interior Ministry).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates these efforts. This takes place in committees of civil servants as well as at Ministerial level, i.e. the Ministerial Council on European and International Affairs.  Main authority and responsibility for decision making with regard to international relations and cooperation lies on a national level. However, local governments also execute their own projects and have a role in awareness raising of information exchange, for example through Local Agenda's 21 projects and the Programme Learning for sustainability.

There are some international partnerships or forms of cooperation on a local and regional level. For example partnerships between municipalities with other municipalities in developing countries for exchange of information and experiences on several themes. Interesting to mention in this framework are the city linking projects exiting between Dutch cities and Nicaraguan cities.

There are some environmental partnerships of provinces with regions in Middle and Eastern Europe (North Brabant and Poznan in Poland, Gelderland and Lublin (Poland), Overijssel and Letland, South-Holland and North-East Hungary). Or for example as a result of the bilateral Sustainable Development Agreements with Bhutan, Costa Rica, and Benin (Waddensea area; Zeeland).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Matters related to cooperation for sustainable development are regulated through policy documents of the Minister for Development Cooperation. These include:

This is complemented by other (sectoral) documents, such as the international sections of the National Environmental Policy Plan and of the Climate Policy Implementation Document and the Programme International Nature Management.

The Netherlands Government is a strong supporter of regulations that improve market forces, increase market access and combat unfair competition. The Netherlands is a member of the WTO and adheres to the related regulations. For the Netherlands, most regulations in relation to multilateral trading are established within the framework of the European Union. In both WTO and EU, the Netherlands actively promotes an open, non-discriminatory and multilateral trading system. The Dutch government does not see any inherent conflict between an open trading system and sound environmental policy, and is convinced that an open multilateral trading system can be reconciled with active environmental protection in the pursuit of the overall objective of sustainable development.

The Netherlands encourages the integration of environmental aspects into the trade policy operated under WTO. With respect to the work of the Committee on Trade and Environment The Netherlands is striving towards concrete results, in particular concerning the relationship between the WTO provisions and trade measures included in Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA's). The use of such measures in the framework of MEA's should be accommodated under clear and predictable rules and guarantees against protectionistic abuse. Furthermore the Dutch Government has requested the European Community to explore the possibilities of a "green" Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) that does not conflict with WTO obligations.

The ORET/MILIEV programme of the Ministers for Development Cooperation and Economic Affairs is designed to help generate employment, boost trade and industry in developing countries and promote environmental protection. The programme reduces the costs to developing countries of eligible projects through the award of grants for the purchase of capital goods, services or works from the Netherlands. The ORET/MILIEV grant will normally equal 35% of the total value of the transaction, or 50% in the case of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). NLG 330 million has been set aside for ORET/MILIEV per annum, NLG 80 million of which is reserved for environmental projects. Appraisal criteria include:

The Netherlands will also actively use the flexible instruments of the Kyoto Protocol (JI, CDM and IET). In 2000 already NLG 50 million was made available for investment under JI projects, for 2001 NLG 75 million is budgeted for JI, 200 million for CDM projects.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Netherlands Government actively promotes regional cooperation with respect to sustainable development and environmental protection. This is pursued in various regional fora, such as the European Union, the Council of Europe, UN-ECE, OSPAR and international river basin treaties. In relation to multilateral cooperation the Netherlands maintains an active diplomacy, too, the organisation of the 6th UNFCCC CoP being a recent example. The Netherlands provides substantial financial assistance to multilateral organisations and funds promoting sustainable development, e.g. World Bank, UNDP, FAO, UNEP.  The Netherlands has an open economy and promotes global trade liberalisation in both the EU and WTO.

The Netherlands has a history of maintaining development assistance at a high level, ODA being at 0.8% of the GNP under current policy. Of this, 0.1 % of the GNP (i.e. NLG 900 million) is specifically directed towards environmental protection. Part of this assistance is channeled through co-financing arrangements with multilateral institutions (e.g. World Bank, UNDP etc.) in order to realise efficient utilisation of funds.

Transfer of environmentally sound technology and know-how is stimulated both through the general development assistance funding as well as through specific programmes such as ORET/MILIEV and Joint Implementation. In addition, several sectoral ministries have relevant programmes, e.g. the Ministries of the Environment, Agriculture and Nature Conservation, and Public Works and water Management.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

NGOs play a very important role in the Netherlands’ international cooperation, since appr. 10 % of the Netherlands’ ODA is spent through these (mainly ICCO, Cordaid, NOVIB and HIVOS) (NLG 800 million in 2001). Through their programmes, these NGOs therefore have a significant influence within the Netherlands’ development assistance.  Furthermore NGOs, like NCDO and NJMO (National Youth Council for Environment and Development) are heard and are participating in the VNDO (Interdepartmental Coordination Group for Sustainable Development), however this is not formally ensured.

The influence of local authorities, trade unions and business and industry is mainly exerted through their participation in specific programmes for each of these groups. The scientific community is, through an advisory council (RAWOO), directly involved in the policy preparations in relation to international cooperation. The Department of International Cooperation also regularly organises dialogue meeting with youth representatives. Gender is one of the main issues within the Netherlands’ international cooperation.

As explained above, both NGOs and private sector play important roles in executing international cooperation programmes (for example in Sustainable Development Agreements projects with Costa Rica, Benin, and Bhutan, and the NCDO). While the relation between Government and NGOs is mainly based on long term structural financing, Government - business relations mainly occur on a project-by-project basis, based, however, on stable funding programmes provided by Government.

Farmers are the group most affected by trade liberalization. Protective trade policies are only gradually diminished to minimize socio-economic impacts. In addition, discontinuance of such policies or subsidies is generally accompanied by financial compensation measures.

Programmes and Projects 

The part of the Netherlands’ ODA channeled through multilateral programmes will amount in total to NLG 1435 million, or 17 % of the ODA, in 2001. This includes contributions to GEF, UNEP, World Bank, UNDP and IFAD.  Furthermore and important program is the Sustainable Development Agreement between the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Bhutan, Benin implementing UNCED agreements, based on equality, reciprocal effort and the mutual acquisition of knowledge and experience.

Under the current policy as described in the document “Making a difference” bilateral cooperation programmes of the Netherlands focus on 21 developing countries (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Ye en, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Macedonia, Egypt, South Africa, the Palestinian Territories and Indonesia). With another 12 countries programmes specifically aimed at environmental goals are executed. In total, bilateral ODA will amount to NLG 3 billion in 2001.

In the framework of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992) Costa Rica, Bhutan, Benin and the Netherlands signed a cooperation agreement for sustainable development: the Sustainable Development Agreements (SDA). These are bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral agreements for implementing the UNCED agreements, based on the principles of equality, reciprocal effort and the mutual acquisition of knowledge and experience. Several activities have been initiated in this framework.

A detailed analysis of funds according to these categories is not readily available, as the Netherlands development funds are registered using the OECD DAC-coding system.

Poverty Eradication is the main goal of the Netherlands’ development cooperation. Thus, almost all of its programmes contribute to this goal.  The “MATRA” Programme specifically addresses capacity building in the fields of  design and implementation of economic policies and public administration and promotion of entrepreneurship for countries in Middle and Eastern Europe (economies in transition).  Specific programmes focus on international education covering various aspects of sustainable development, and on capacity building in relation to climate change, environmental management, nature protection and water management respectively.

Several programmes exist aimed at promotion of imports from developing countries and at local capacity building in relation to exporting (IBTA, PESP, PSO, PSOM). The Minister for Development Cooperation has established a specialised agency, CBI, the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries. In addition the Netherlands contributes significantly to the WTO/UNCTAD International Trade Centre in Geneva.

Status   

Total Foreign Direct Investments from the Netherlands in developing countries fluctuated strongly over the period 1995-1999, as is apparent from the following table.

Total Netherlands direct investment in developing countries, 1995 -1999 (source: De Nederlandsche Bank)

Year

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

FDI (million NLG)

2524

4875

5983

13927

5207

The Netherlands continues its commitment to the statement made in Rio that it will make available 0.1% of GNP to developing countries and other qualifying recipient countries for activities that help meet the objectives of environmental treaties, if other countries do the same.  Starting in 1997, this commitment will gradually be implemented.

Challenges  

Major challenges are:

The following are considered to be priority issues for immediate attention:

Building multi-stakeholder partnerships is considered to be a crucial factor. For the Netherlands the major challenge lies in promoting the private sector to ensure that foreign activities are indeed sustainable and ecologically acceptable despite economic/competition considerations.  

Netherlands’ institutional or structural challenges in eliminating trade barriers are related to general EU trade policy.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Netherlands’ Government spends some NLG 30 million per annum on activities to promote public awareness. Circa 2/3 of this budget is used to subsidize the National Commission for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO). The NCDO stimulates and organizes public debate on international cooperation and sustainable development and through the NCDO local and regional activities to increase awareness are subsidized.  The Department for International Cooperation publishes two magazines on international cooperation, one for the general public, one for the youth.

The Netherlands has an elaborated educational and training system, where programmes in international relations are widely available.

The new Netherlands’ policy on bilateral aid (see policy document “Making a difference”) puts strong emphasis on priority setting by developing countries themselves in the international cooperation relation. The other items are usual parts of many regular cooperation programmes.  Also the business sector should be more involved in capacity building for international cooperation.

Information   

Several Ministries are involved in making this information available, in particular Foreign Affairs/Development Cooperation, Economic Affairs, Environment, Agriculture and Nature Conservation and Education. All produce publications on specific topics and regulations, as well as their annual budget and policy documents. Much of the information is also accessible through the internet: www.minbuza.nl, www.minez.nl, www.minvrom.nl, www.minlnv.nl, www.minocw.nl.

In addition, the government finances the publication of information (incl. internet) by specialised institutions, the main being the National Commission for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) and Senter (www.ncdo.nl; www.oneworld.nl; www.senter.nl).

Furthermore conferences, television documentaries, etc.

Research and Technologies 

Priorities in sustainable technological developments include:

(Sources: minvrom; RMNO)

Such partnerships are mainly formed by NGOs and private business executing or taking part in relevant government (research) programmes.  he main role of the government is the promotion of application of environmentally sound technologies in foreign projects through its subsidizing programme.

Financing   

Netherlands’ ODA is stable at 0.8 % of its GNP. Bilateral target countries. Poverty reduction and environmental protection are main target areas.

UNCED led to the reallocation of funds within existing ODA budgets, with respect both to the choice of countries and to the projects to be financed. For example, new funds are now provided to countries with which a bilateral Sustainable Development Agreement has been signed and NLG. 150 million have been allocated for biodiversity and forestry projects.

Cooperation

The Netherlands is very actively involved in many international fora related to sustainable development, both at the regional and at the global scale. Major conventions, e.g. CBD, UNFCCC, Montreal Protocol, CCD, UNCLOS, Basel Convention, CITES, Bonn Convention, OSPAR, Antarctic Treaty, have all been ratified. Conventions are in general implemented through national implementation plans and incorporation in national law.

The Netherlands government and civil service have been and continue to be very active in promoting Agenda 21. Specific examples include the strong efforts put into the activities under UNFCCC (including the organisation of CoP 6) and IPCC and the CBD, the hosting of the UNEP GPA Coordinating Office, and the promotion of regional agreements in Europe (EU, UN-ECE, Council of Europe and in relation to watersheds (Rhine, Meuse, OSPAR).  A particular case was the establishment of Sustainable Development Treaties with Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica.

Netherlands cooperates with other countries in joint research, professional networking, or other activities related to sustainable development between experts in your country and those outside through:

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th and 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: May 2001.

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The Government of the Netherlands does not see any inherent conflict between an open trading system and sound environmental policy, and it is convinced that an open multilateral trading system can be reconciled with active environmental protection in the pursuit of the overall objective of sustainable development. At the international level, the debate on trade and the environment is conducted in different fora, such as WTO, UNCTAD, UNEP and the OECD, in which the Netherlands is involved both directly and as an EU Member State. The Netherlands encourages the integration of environmental aspects into the trade policy operated under WTO and is working toward concrete results in the Committee on Trade and Environment, especially with respect to the relationship between the WTO provisions and trade measures included in Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA's). The use of such measures in the framework of MEA's should be accommodated under clear and predictable rules and guarantees against protectionist abuse. Furthermore the Government of the Netherlands has requested the European Community to explore the possibilities of a "green" Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) that does not conflict with WTO obligations.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government makes use of legislative instruments (licensing schemes like the Small Chemical Waste Logo Decree), market-oriented instruments (e.g. energy tax) and social instruments (information, education and feedback, e.g. through the Personal Lifestyle Test).

Since 1992 the Government has introduced the following fiscal instruments in support of environmental objectives:

- Energy tax (1992) amounting to US$ 600 million.

- Regulatory tax on energy (in discussion in Parliament), likely to amount of US$1.3 billion.

- Tax on fuels (1992) amounting to US$800 million - Groundwater and waste tax (1995) likely to amount to US$ 400 million.

- Water pollution discharge tax on heavy metals adding up to US$ 8 million.

- Levies for the purpose of water pollution prevention

- Regulatory taxes (e.g. paint, light bulbs and manure, excluding energy)

- Tax on uranium (in effect in 1997) - Fiscal instruments (e.g. accelerated depreciation, green investment and lower VAT rates)

- Returnable deposits (e.g. oil and batteries)

- Waste disposal fee (e.g. tires and electrical appliances)

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

At the national level, a policy debate has been conducted on such issues as trends and the social context of consumption, tax reform, product information, supply of cleaner products, policies to stimulate development of the services sector, the role of new media (such as Internet), physical planning, and labour patterns. Many participants stress the need to develop policies that influence societal systems and the physical infrastructure and make sustainable consumption an almost automatic and invisible process.

Public sector policies have been adopted to influence the consumption and production patterns of various segments of the economy. For example, policies for material efficiency are directed toward influencing producers; policies on energy efficiency, toward the public sector; on housing, toward both central and local authorities, on waste reduction toward producers and households, on waste reuse and recycling, toward producers and local authorities. In general, the central Government is responsible for all kinds of activities to influence production and consumption patterns; local authorities are responsible for research to improve understanding and analysis; and producers are responsible for evaluating environmental claims. With regard to water demand and use, the central Government plays a key role in analysis, tools, monitoring and assessment. In addition, a national and sectoral review on production and consumption patterns has been undertaken to identify waste and possibilities for waste reduction.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status

No information is available 

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

At the international level, The Netherlands government has contributed to the Oslo II Round Table on Sustainable Production and Consumption (Oslo, February 1995), the OECD workshop Clarifying the Concepts (Rosendal, July 1995), activities of the OECD Consumer Policy Committee (Helsinki, ad hoc working party on Sustainable Consumption), the OECD/BIAC/TUAC meeting on sustainable consumption and production (Paris, October 1995) and the Korea Workshop on Sustainable Consumption (Seoul, August/September 1995). In January 1995, the Netherlands held an international workshop on facilities for a sustainable household, the results of which were incorporated into the Oslo Round Table and the CSD work programme. At the third CSD meeting, the Netherlands announced the organisation of an international meeting on the relation between government and industry in the field of production and consumption, which was held in February 1996. The Netherlands has also contributed to the European Round Table on Cleaner Products (Rotterdam, November 1995) with the presentation of a paper on Consumers and Cleaner Products. The Netherlands partly finances the Sustainable Europe Study of Friends of the Earth International and the UNEP Work programme on sustainable consumption and production.

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

To access Measuring Environmental Progress: Consumer and Retail Trade, click here.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The following environmental taxes/charges have been introduced since UNCED resulting in a estimated total revenue of US$2.5 billion :

- Tax on groundwater (1995), likely to amount to US$190 million;

- Waste tax (1995), likely to amount to US$170 million;

-Tax on fuels (1992), amounting to US$800 million;

-Tax on uranium (in effect in 1997);

-Water pollution discharge tax on heavy metals amounting to up to US$8 million;

-Regulatory tax on energy (in discussion in Parliament), likely to amount to US$1.3 billion;

-Levies for the purpose of water pollution prevention.

An important part of this budget is used for management (licences, control and enforcement), monitoring and research. In some cases there is participation in unsubsidised high-cost infrastructural expenditure.

In addition to environmental taxes, several other economic instruments have been introduced in favour of environmental protection. These include returnable deposits (e.g. oil), waste disposal fee (e.g. cars), Accelerated Depreciation on Environmental Investment in the Netherlands, and a Green Investment Fund.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Development Cooperation policy has been reviewed and the results have been presented to Parliament. The review did not lead to any major changes in policy, since policy priorities had, to a large extent, already been adjusted in line with UNCED during the preparations for the Conference. These adjustments included, for instance, checks on environmental and gender consequences of development projects. Existing policy priorities were intensified as a result of UNCED. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The Netherlands already spends the internationally agreed 0.7% of GNP for ODA. In the reassessment of its foreign policy, the Government confirmed that 0.8% of GNP will be spent on ODA and that, by 1999, 0.1% of GNP will be spent on international environmental issues.

The Netherlands supports the GEF, the Multilateral Funds, the Montreal Protocol and the UNEP Core Fund Program. In 1994 and 1995, The Netherlands and Tunisia agreed on two debt-for-sustainable development swaps for a total amount of approximately US$11 million.

Expenditure on environmental protection by the Dutch Government:

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

No information is available

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

To access Measuring Environmental Progress: Costs, click here.
For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Commission that was established to implement the Water Pollution Act is also responsible for the exchange of information on water pollution prevention technologies. Several Ministries, regional authorities and industrial organizations are represented. A policy paper on environmental technology in relation to development cooperation is in the final draft stage.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The principle of Dutch policy is, as agreed in several International Conventions, the application of Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices as so defined, including, where appropriate, clean technology. Life Cycle Analysis and environmental product development are being applied in the Netherlands for assessment of technology options. The Government applies several instruments to promote development, transfer and dissemination of environmentally sound technologies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

In 1995, an Information Centre for Environmental Licensing was opened. The centre has been set up primarily to provide licensing authorities with information, but industry can also make use of it. The idea is that licensing authorities, by using appropriate and up-to-date information, should be able to apply the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle as referred to in the Environmental Protection Act. The information centre has started by integrating existing information facilities regarding air pollution, energy, soil remediation technology and the helpdesk of the facilitating organization for industry. Information regarding legal aspects is also provided. According to the plans, the scope of the information centre will be broadened to cover the information needs of licensing authorities regarding all environmental aspects. The information centre will be extended, with information on water, waste prevention and environmental care systems. A further assessment of the "market" for information will be performed, the results of which will lead to further completion of the information system. Quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness are also under the permanent attention of the management. A connection to Internet is planned. An easily accessible data base of state-of-the-art technology has to be created. Up to now information has been available only by telephone or mail.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Netherlands actively supports the UN-policy on setting up environmentally sound technology centres and has begun cooperation with countries in Africa, Asia an Latin America for this purpose. The network of cleaner production centres cooperates closely with the industrial market for technology development and transfer. The main activities of the centres lie in the field of strengthening environmental care in industry by the organization of seminars and courses and provision of support for companies preparing environmental working plans.

The Government has also supported a national needs assessment for clean technologies in, for example, Costa Rica; at the international level, with Switzerland, it organized an international expert meeting on national needs assessment in February 1996. The Netherlands, in cooperation with IMO and the USA Coast Guard, supports a Regional Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre (REMPEITC) in Curacao (Netherlands Antilles). The Dutch programme for cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe includes projects in the area of environmental technology focusing on sustainable processes of production and energy-saving techniques. Further activities are being conducted within the framework of OSPAR, UNEP and ECE.

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: June 1998.

 

MISSING INFO..........

Biotechnology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

There is no central decision-making body forthis issue, but, among others, the following Ministries are involved in the sound management of biotechnology: the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries and the Ministry of the Environment. Although there is currently no overall plan or strategy covering all the issues related to biotechnology, there is a government policy covering aspects such as safety for human health and the environment, workers protection, ethics, animal welfare and Third World issues.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Genetically Modified Organisms Decree was passed in order to protect public health and the environment. The Decree provides for safety procedures relating to the use and the release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. It also provides for the establishment of an advisory committee. Safety procedures contain principles on biotechnology risk assessment and risk management and are being reviewed annually. Notice is given to the Minister of the Environment of projects involving the use of genetically modified organisms. Standard requirements for safe handling and for the release of products are being published in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees. Specific additional safety requirements can be laid down.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Examples for successful biotechnology projects contributing to a cleaner environment are the In situ Bioremediation Programme and the Programme on Diagnostic Methods for Plant Pests.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Endogenous biotechnology capacities are strengthened through Technology Assessment Programmes.

During the last 15 years, a large number of initiatives have been taken aimed at enhancing public awareness of issues relating to the development and application of biotechnology. These initiatives focused on potential benefits, safety and ethical aspects. They originated from government, industry and interest groups and took a variety of forms such as conferences, workshops, seminars, brochures, exhibitions, and television programmes, among others. The Government recently has taken steps to provide some coordination, e.g. by establishing a platform in which representatives of interest groups, such as farmers' organizations, can participate.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

From 1981 to 1992, the Biotechnology Stimulation Programmes of the Ministry of Economic Affairs accounted for a total of US$ 200 million. In 1994, the Ministry allocated US$ 17.5 million for biotechnology research and development. US$ 50 million are being allocated annually to the Wageningen Agricultural University for research and development in biotechnology. The Association of Dutch Biotechnology Schools receives US$ 5 million per year.

Cooperation

Much of the biotechnology research undertaken is related to the Biotechnology Programmes of the European Union.

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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INDUSTRY

No information is available

 

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management is responsible for policy development for traffic and transport as laid down in the National Traffic and Transport Plan (NVVP). But also the Ministries of: Spatial Planning and Environmental (VROM, esp. vehicle emissions standards); Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ); Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV); Ministry of the Interior (BZK); and Finances, the provinces, municipalities, and framework act regions are involved. Co-operation is an important factor and all have been involved and consulted in the preparation of the third Transport Structure Plan: the National Traffic and Transport Plan (NVVP) applying for 2001 to 2010.

Our present policy for traffic and transport is coordinated by the Council of Ministers, supported by various interdepartmental coordinating organs at ministerial and administrative level. The policy is laid down in the National Traffic and Transport Plan (NVVP). The preparation of the NVVP took place conform the intentions of the (new) Verdi Accord (introduction of a new administrative structure with more responsibilities for local and regional governments). This Plan is a Planning Key Decision, implying a certain to be followed procedure. Other departments are involved by participating in the intergovernmental platform NVVP and an interdepartmental platform.  The NVVP consists of 3 parts:

The procedure has four phases, each resulting in a separate document:

1)      preparation of Policy Plan or concept Planning Key Decision;

2)      participation and advice;

3)      positioning of the cabinet; and 

4)      text of the Planning Key Decision after agreement in the Parliament. In this process all ministries are involved and consulted.

The Multi-annual Program Infrastructure and Transport (MIT) and the yearly budget and explanatory memorandum (chapter XII) form the implementation program of the policy agenda (part C) of the NVVP.

The national, provincial and local authorities have separate responsibilities for different aspects of road infrastructure and transport policy. Local infrastructure is a local governmental responsibility, supervised by the provincial government and often financed in part by the Ministry of Transport. Equally, the provincial governments are in control of provincial infrastructures, partly financed by the Ministry. The Ministry of Transport is responsible for the national highway network and the high tonnage inland shipping network, the Delta infrastructure, etc.

Provinces, municipalities and framework act regions have been involved in the formulation of the NVVP by participation in the intergovernmental platform NVVP.  Furthermore there is a National Traffic and Transport Council in which the Minister consults with above mentioned parties and Water Boards on the mutual tuning of the traffic and transport policy.

In the Verdi Accord a new structure is introduced with more responsibilities for local and regional governments. In the new NVVP there is an emphasis on decentralization of tasks for a more effective traffic and transport policy (decentralized where possible, centralized where necessary) and more tailored solutions on a regional and local level. The new NVVP and the new Passenger Transport Act 2000 has resulted in a re-distribution of tasks and jurisdictions to provinces and the framework act regions. A substantial decentralization of financial means has been introduced. With the creation of Regional Mobility Funds decentralized governments are better suited to develop a more integral area oriented decision making process on a regional and local level.

Provinces lay down their regional transport and traffic policy in regional transport and traffic plans (RTTP). Municipalities do this in their Physical Plans and Schemes. For urban areas and non-urban areas different approaches are used.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There are a considerable number of laws all addressing in some extend to our national transport and traffic system. Since 1993 there has been a fully harmonized set of EU standards for road vehicles and these are tightened regularly. Shipping and air transport are also regulated internationally. The international regulatory body for air transport is the international Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), and for shipping the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Netherlands supports more restrictive regulations with regard to emissions, noise, safety and pricing policy than at the moment agreed upon in these bodies.

Some relevant laws and directives are mentioned here, most of them have been reviewed in some way to meet for example new emission standards for air pollution and noise, mostly due to international regulations of the EU, IMO of ICAO:

The general Environmental Protection Law provides the basis for vehicle emission standards (excl. airplanes and shipping) and the fiscal legislation as a basis for fiscal stimulation of cleaner vehicles and fuels. There are emission standards for CO, NOx, SO2, HC, particles and noise, each with there own set of incentive mechanisms. Legislative acts on the national and EU level are the most important tools for reducing emissions. Other mechanisms for the reduction of vehicle emissions are:

a)                       Technical measures, stimulating the development and production of cleaner vehicles and fuels (source policy). The government stimulates the improvement of vehicle technology and fuels, for example: the development of gaseous fuels for heavy transport, and the development of cleaner petrol through sharper emission norms. Furthermore the government stimulates new technologies and innovations, for example new motor techniques and new generation catalysts, the hydrogen cell (brandstofcel), and soot filters for petrol engines.

b)                       Fiscal measures, for example introducing differentiating taxes: different taxes related to the vehicles emission; or introducing a pricing policy (the 'polluter pays principle'); or introducing tax measures stimulating research for new cleaner techniques).

c)                        Behavioural measures oriented on for example driving behaviour (increased control on speed limitations, in-car instruments, improving drivers’ style to increase fuel efficiency (“New Way of Driving”)) and buying behaviour (labelling of cars).

Also local governments have several possibilities to stimulate cleaner transport: transport management measures, the introduction of cleaner urban distribution vehicles, "shorter trips" projects (stimulating alternatives on shorter distances), use of cleaner busses in public transport, the introduction of emission-free zones, and the development of infrastructure and parking facilities for cycles.

In the Kyoto protocol agreements were made for a CO2 reduction for 2010. Measures were introduced to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and improve fuel efficiency (EU Community strategy, 1995: 5 litres of fuel per 100 km for all new petrol-engine passenger cars in the year 2008).  Also, tax incentives for fuel-efficient cars and cleaner trucks are being introduced or explored.

Aim for the NOx emission through traffic and transport (including mobile sources and excluding air and maritime transport) is a reduction of 160 to150 kiloton / year for 2010. There is a tightening of EU standards for exhaust emissions. On European level a reduction of the sulphur content in fuels for road transport has been agreed upon. This will bring about a drastic reduction of SO2 emission of 12.5 kiloton in 1995 to 1 kiloton in 2010. For maritime transport a ratification of the IMO conventions is important on the limitation of the sulphur content of oil in the North Sea area.

For organic HC emissions for transport and traffic, the National Environmental Policy Plan 3 sets a target of 57 kiloton / year for 2010. NOx emissions from inland shipping form a problem.

Possible bottlenecks are connected to reducing CO2 emissions from transport and local environmental quality at specific locations. In 2003 a review will be made to evaluate to which degree EU directives and national norms can be met. This will be dependent upon the degree to which the introduction of road pricing will bring about the expected changes. If this is not the case, a package of additional measures will be introduced. After 2010 a much larger reduction of greenhouse gasses appears to be necessary, and then more strict measures will be necessary.

Regional governments provide facilities in the area of car pooling parking sites, cycling and public transport, etc. Companies stimulate their employees, via -transport management-, to make use of these facilities. For example through fiscal advantages when purchasing company bicycles, stimulating car pooling, or using public transport.

·      Cycle policy: realizing and managing a extensive cycle network and parking facilities for cycles and stimulating its use.

·      Platform "The New Way of Driving" ("Het nieuwe Rijden") in which business and intermediate organizations like the ANWB and the government act together to reduce the impact of traffic on the environment, and a more energy efficient way of driving is stimulated, for example 'driving with an adequate tire pressure' and use of in-car instruments.

·      Labelling of the energy-efficiency of new cars.

·      Project "Short Trips " (1999, "Korte Ritten") aims at developing a comprehensive package of national and local measures to stimulate the use of alternatives for car use on short distances, for example cycling or walking.

·      "Deltametrapole": realizing a network of public transport in the urban area of the Netherlands, and connected to other urban areas (metropolises) in Europe. This includes better connections to transporting networks, a capacity increase, and higher frequencies and speed.

Pricing policies: "The polluter pays": differentiation through environmental taxes. Taxing the use of cars by increasing fuel taxes and decreasing vehicle taxes. Possibilities for the development of a kilometre tax are explored. Electronic road pricing in rush hours (as part of the Randstad Accessibility Offensive (Bereikbaarheidsoffensief Randstad) is being introduced. The Eurovignet for freight transport is being reviewed.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government promotes policies and programmes in support of environmentally sound and efficient transportation. And is actively participating in the Prepcom for the ECE Regional Conference on Transport and Environment.

The NVVP is an integrated policy plan for our traffic and transport system, for which the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water management is responsible. The 5th Memorandum of Spatial Planning (2000) is our integrated strategy for urban planning, rural development and transport infrastructure, for which the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environmental is responsible.

Main aim in the NVVP is: ' The Netherlands should offer everyone an efficient, safe and sustainable traffic and transportation system, whereby quality for individual users stands in a meaningful equilibrium with quality for the country as a whole' . These are translated in policy aims for accessibility, safety, and quality of life.

The top priority of NVVP is to cut the harmful impacts of increasing mobility; unlike previous plans it has no aims around choice of transport modalities, and no ceilings are imposed on numbers of automobiles and trucks. It seeks to cope with the growth of mobility while improving safety and quality of life.

Expansion of transport infrastructure (road networks, railways, etc.);

Short term: the management and maintenance of existing infrastructure for the period until 2010 is described in the MIT, including measures for the Accessibility Offensive Randstad.

Long term: For the future these measures are not enough. Expansion of the transport capacity will be necessary to keep the quality of accessibility on level. The expansion of capacity will be sought in a more efficient use of the existing infrastructure and networks (roads, railway, and waterways) where possible and new infrastructure where necessary.

Sustainable fuel consumption

Current (short term) measures are the stimulation of use of cleaner cars and fuels (through agreements with the industry), and stimulating research on new technologies and innovations; Important in this framework is the Memorandum Vehicle techniques and fuel mix (1997).

For the future the possibilities for differentiating environmental taxes are explored: introducing increasing fuel taxes or kilometre taxes.

Reduction of vehicle emissions

Stimulating cleaner vehicles and fuels techniques through regulatory vehicle emission standards. Furthermore tax incentives: tax differentiation for (personal vehicles) fuels by relative CO2 emission. And influencing driving and buying behaviour.  Preparing for the expected necessary CO2 reduction for which new and more strict and heavy policy instruments are necessary. For example a system of tradable emission rights. Furthermore the development of CO2 reducing techniques.

Fiscal stimulation of low-sulphur content fuels for road traffic. More policy is needed on maritime transport, and inland water transport. For maritime transport measures and emission standards are agreed upon in the IMO conventions. For air transport on a international level long term targets are needed on NOx emission standards and stimulating the implementation of new cleaner technologies. In the field of air transport The Netherlands strongly promotes the introduction by ICAO member states of duties on fuel and environmental taxes in order to internalise external costs.

Development of alternative transport modes

The development of an effective, accessibility and integrated public transport system, and stimulation the use of public transport (accessibility of the Dutch urban areas, starting with the Accessibility Offensive Randstad (BOR)). Stimulating biking and walking on short distances as an alternative for short distance car trips (Short Trips project).  Stimulating freight transport over water.  A more long term example is the development of a Pipe transport and underground logistic system (Buisleidingen). Stimulating the share of alternatives transport modes, e.g. rail, short sea shipping, and inland water transport for distances over 50 km. A new Personal Transport Act 2000 will be introduced in the beginning of 2001.

Upgrading of vehicle fleet

Stimulating the production and use of cleaner cars, for example through agreements with the car industry, or stimulating the development of new clean technologies.  At the same time, governments are confronted with the introduction of bigger, heavier and faster cars which can offset the energy efficiency obtained by cleaner technologies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

In preparation of the NVVP the governmental partners gathered input from parties outside of the government: the business world, social organizations and the academic world. These were gathered and discussed in a Perspectives Memo on Traffic and Transport. The Plan Key Decision procedure of the NVVP ensures the participation and involvement in several phases of the planning process.

Some social groups involved and consulted in de planning process were:

The urban areas of the Netherlands have most urgent need for an improved transport system, because of traffic congestion problems and public transport capacity (accessibility). Furthermore there are environmental problems in the area of road transport but also by air and water (quality of life: noise control and air pollution)

From an efficiency point of view for an improved transport system, especially the transporting sector (freight transport) is in need for an improved rail, road, water and air connection, also connecting internationally.

As already mentioned, the private sector is involved and consulted in the decision making and planning process of transport related issues.  The private sector is encouraged to search for solutions themselves, with a government providing the framework. In the new NVVP there is more room for public-private partnerships and co-operation in the case of shared interests, for example through concessions. In the framework of the Accessibility Offensive Randstad some pilot projects are pointed out in which public-private cooperation is possible, for example for the construction and exploitation of pay roads, but also projects in the area of public transport are possible.

Programmes and Projects 

Several programs and projects are undertaken in the framework of the NVVP and MIT 2000 - 2004. The NVVP main themes are:

The most important implementation themes in MIT 2000 - 2004 are:

·      access improvement (transport management, utilization, etc. with an accent on capacity improvement),

·      infrastructure improvement (investment in economic and spatial infrastructure: the Netherlands as a transport- and distribution country), connecting to the Trans-European Networks (TENs); and

·      innovations for environment and safety (for example the Program Sustainable Safety, and environmental / emission standards).

Some relevant programs are:

·      Program Sustainable Safety -phase 2- for a better traffic and transport safety. Target is 25% less traffic fatalities and injured for 2010. With governments and public parties a risk approach is worked out, and in a Covenant Sustainable Safety agreements are signed for a better road safety.

·      Randstad Accessibility Offensive (BOR), for a better accessibility of the urban area (Randstad). In co-operation with other local governments and public parties measures are introduced to tackle the congestion problem. Target is to get the accessibility of the Randstad on the same level of the rest of the Netherlands by 2010.  For this a Regional Mobility Fund has been created.

·      Since 1999 the project 'Short Trips’ has started. Goal is to stimulate alternatives for the car use on short distances.

·      Project Traffic, the Environment and Technology: stimulates key technologies and system innovations in transport (e.g. electronic vehicle identification) and the improvement of knowledge management in the area of traffic & transport. Co-operation between government and industry, participants are the ANWB (motorists organization), BOVAG/RAI (manufacturers/importers organizations), KNV and TLN (transporters organizations), Midnet, VNO/NCW (employers’ organization), and the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. Result of this working group is amongst others the covenant "Busses on LPG" as a result of the governmental program Cleaner, quieter and more economical (Programma "Schoner, stiller en zuiniger"). In 1999 the public-private knowledge centre Connekt was set up, for management of knowledge in the area of transport and traffic. The Program "Ways to the Future" gives a new impulse to new innovations in the area of transport and traffic. On a European level the European ministers of Transport created an Innovation forum in 1999. Furthermore there is the European research program COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research).

·          Memorandum Vehicle technique and fuels: measures focused on the limitation of NOx emission through road transport. Demonstration projects are: Reduced NOx in freight transport, busses on LPG, Covenant city and regional traffic, etc.;

The project Transaction focused on the reducing the number of kilometres in freight transport through multi-annual agreements with transporting companies.

·          Project Transport Prevention, in which studies have been conducted on the possibilities of reducing or preventing voluminous freight transport.

Within the program Ways to the Future several projects on the improvement of transport and traffic design are mentioned, some examples are: dynamic traffic lane sign posting, innovations in technology on road management, and ICT applications in route information.  Also with the set up of Connect, in co-operation with the private sector, new research themes have been taken up. There are now 4 research theme's in preparation: space, behaviour, logistics, and utilization.

The Research program Economic Effects of Infrastructure (OEI), gives guidelines for cost - benefit analysis in the framework of infrastructure.

Status   

Overall the Dutch system of transport services is an extensive and safe one, with an extensive road  and cycle network, public transporting system, waterway network, main airports, and maritime ports. However the Randstad and Urban areas are experiencing serious congestion problems in the area of road transport and public transport. Furthermore our national main airport Schiphol is facing capacity problems as a result of environmental regulations. Parts of the countryside have limited access to public transport services.

Through measures within MIT 2000 – 2004 and Accessibility Offensive Randstad (BOR) an acceptable level of accessibility can still be realized. In the future this may however not be enough. In the NVVP a long term strategy to cope with these problems has been worked out.

The Netherlands has an extensive network of roads, waterways and airways of excellent quality. However, as already stated above, accessibility especially in the urban area is getting less efficient because of congestion problems.  Also there is a need for a better connection of the transport network to the rest of Europe (Metropolis).

Since 1986, a tax differentiation between unleaded and leaded petrol has been introduced.

Emissions from mobile sources, 1980-1999* (Source: Milieu compendium, RIVM)

 

1980

1985

1990

1995

1997

1998

1999*

 

 

Million kg

 

CO

1 168

984

758

595

525

472

441

Road transport

1 133

949

720

555

486

433

401

 

Passenger vehicles

959

822

599

457

393

347

316

 

Light duty vehicles

82

59

53

33

30

27

26

 

Heavy duty vehicles

41

30

26

20

19

16

15

 

Motorcycles

50

38

42

44

45

42

43

Other mobile sources

16

16

16

17

18

18

18

Mobile vehicles

19

19

22

23

22

22

22

 

CO21)

24 900

25 900

28 900

32 800

34 000

34 600

36 000

Road transport

20 000

20 900

23 300

26 800

27 800

28 300

29 800

 

Passenger vehicles

13 100

14 000

15 300

17 200

17 600

17 800

18 500

 

Light duty vehicles

1 230

1 440

2 100

2 830

3 280

3 680

4 160

 

Heavy duty vehicles

5 380

5 270

5 610

6 520

6 590

6 590

6 850

 

Motorcycles

231

194

242

281

289

279

287

Other mobile sources

2 990

3 000

3 380

3 590

3 970

3 950

3 930

Mobile vehicles

1 980

1 980

2 260

2 390

2 270

2 270

2 270

 

HC 2)

269

243

211

157

139

127

120

Road transport

257

232

198

143

125

114

107

 

Passenger vehicles

190

180

148

105

89

80

74

 

Light duty vehicles

17

14

13

8,6

7,9

6,9

6,7

 

Heavy duty vehicles

29

21

18

11

10

7,7

7,6

 

Motorcycles

22

18

19

18

19

19

19

Other mobile sources

5,4

5,2

5,2

5,6

5,9

5,8

5,7

Mobile vehicles

6,3

6,3

7,2

7,6

7,3

7,3

7,3

 

Nox

360

354

354

309

300

276

269

Road transport

277

271

262

213

199

176

170

 

Personal vehicles

161

159

150

108

97

81

73

 

Light company vehicles

14

14

19

20

20

20

21

 

Heavy company vehicles

102

97

93

84

80

74

76

 

Motorcycles

0,3

0,3

0,3

0,4

0,5

0,4

0,5

Other traffic

51

51

56

59

65

64

63

Mobile vehicles

32

32

36

38

36

36

36

 

Bron: CBS.

CBS/MC2000

1) Non temperature corrected
2) Emission through combustion as well as evaporation.

                   

A evaluation of the amount of vehicle emission is made in the yearly Environmental Balance Sheet, the four-yearly National Environmental Exploration, and the Environmental Compendium.

The CO2 emission of transport and traffic have to be reported in the international framework of the IPCC.

In 1999 the transport sector was responsible for about 15% of the greenhouse gas emission. 50% of the CO2 emission through transport and traffic from 1990 to 1999 was on account of personal vehicles. Freight transport has a share of about 17%. Non-road transport, e.g. maritime and air transport, is responsible for about 20% of transport-related CO2 emission. Between 1990 to 1999 total CO2 emission has increased with almost 25%, especially due to growth in auto mobility and road freight transport. Also the transport by air has increased considerably with 50% between 1990 to 1999.

The total emission of non-CO2 greenhouse gases stabilized since 1990 in terms of CO2 equivalents. The Methane emission has decreased with 20% between 1990 and 1999. The emission of N2O has decreased with 15% in the period of 1990-1999. De emissions of HFK, PFK and SF6 have increased with about 30% since 1995.

Emission trends compared to other countries: the CO2 equivalent emissions per person has increased with 4% (1995-1990), while the group of EU countries has a decrease of 7%. This is largely due to the fact that the Netherlands, in contrast to the rest of Europe, already made the switch from coal to natural gas in the 70th and 80th which for the EU countries led to a considerable decrease of CO2 emission.

Due to common European and national policy a reduction of emissions of SO2 (30% (23 million Kg) decrease from 1980 to 1999, especially through a decrease in sulphur content of fuels), NOx, organic volatiles, and fine dust, has been realized.

In the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (VN-ECE) targets for the reduction of above mentioned polluters have been set.  Newest are the Gothenburg protocol targets (CLRTAP, ‘Dec. 1999) in which also targets for road transport are set (emission standards, petrol distribution chain, quality of fossil fuels, etc.

Challenges  

The road and vehicle transport is responsible for the largest increase of emissions and other environmental problems as quality of living environment: congestion, the fragmentation of the landscape, noise nuisance, etc. Furthermore especially the urban area is confronted with congestion problems. Other modes than road transport (e.g. inland water transport, railway, etc.) are stimulated to maintain and improve their increasing environmental edge. But also air transport has over the last few decades been responsible for a considerable increase in emission and noise nuisance problems.

An important obstacle is the fact that the Netherlands is a relative small country with a relative large population, leading to for example congestion. Due to the fact that the Netherlands' economy is strongly internationally oriented, it is difficult to unilaterally take far going environmental measures without seriously affecting the competitiveness of the economy.

Ongoing changes in society result in a growing mobility and car ownership and therefore increasing CO2 emission levels. Although it is the ambition of the Netherlands to disconnect economic growth from environmental issues, this appears to be difficult. Measures necessary to tackle the congestion problems not necessarily contribute to a reduction of emissions. Furthermore, the issue of behavioural change (driving behaviour) is a long term effort, which is often thwarted by campaigns of the auto lobby that resists pricing policies and speed limits. Finally, as the Netherlands' economy is strongly internationally oriented, it is difficult to unilaterally take far-going environmental measures without seriously affecting the competitiveness of the economy.  A total economic sector will be affected by an ill-managed transport and traffic systems.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The road and vehicle transport is responsible for the largest increase of emissions and other environmental problems as quality of living environment: congestion, the fragmentation of the landscape, noise nuisance, etc. Furthermore especially the urban area is confronted with congestion problems. Other modes than road transport (e.g. inland water transport, railway, etc.) are stimulated to maintain and improve their increasing environmental edge. But also air transport has over the last few decades been responsible for a considerable increase in emission and noise nuisance problems.

An important obstacle is the fact that the Netherlands is a relative small country with a relative large population, leading to for example congestion. Due to the fact that the Netherlands' economy is strongly internationally oriented, it is difficult to unilaterally take far going environmental measures without seriously affecting the competitiveness of the economy.

Ongoing changes in society result in a growing mobility and car ownership and therefore increasing CO2 emission levels. Although it is the ambition of the Netherlands to disconnect economic growth from environmental issues, this appears to be difficult. Measures necessary to tackle the congestion problems not necessarily contribute to a reduction of emissions. Furthermore, the issue of behavioural change (driving behaviour) is a long term effort, which is often thwarted by campaigns of the auto lobby that resists pricing policies and speed limits. Finally, as the Netherlands' economy is strongly internationally oriented, it is difficult to unilaterally take far-going environmental measures without seriously affecting the competitiveness of the economy.  A total economic sector will be affected by an ill-managed transport and traffic systems.

Information   

Emissions are monitored by the RIVM and reported in the yearly Environmental Balance Sheet and the Environmental Compendium. Furthermore a five yearly MIT 2000 - 2004 is published with an update of the transport and traffic system projects and measures.

Emissions are monitored by the RIVM and reported in the yearly Environmental Balance Sheet and the Environmental Compendium.  Furthermore on the web site of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, information is available on the policy and programs for transport and traffic (http://www.minvenw.nl, also in English).

Traffic conditions (congestion information etc.) are made available in different ways by radio, television, electronic road signs, billboards. The public is informed of the energy-efficiency of new cars by the introduction of a labelling system on their energy use.

Research and Technologies   

Several technologies include: hydrogen cells, electric cars, etc.  Road pricing especially during rush hours, the use of ICT (electronic vehicle identification), infrastructural and behavioural measures, etc. Specific mention should be made of trajectory-average speed monitoring and enforcement and use of advanced automatic reading video registration of speed offences, which involve a minimum manpower or follow-up administrative capacity and facilitate swift judicial response action towards offenders.

Financing   

Building infrastructure;

Infrastructure can be subdivided in regional and central funding. The Infrastructure fund indicates that the Ministry of V&W will have a budget of 5,525,930,000 EURO on infrastructure in 2001. All means are in principle publicly financed. Incidentally V&W receives subsidies from Europe (EU) and incidentally a private contribution through public-private partnerships. The development does gradually shift to more private investments through innovative tenders and public-private partnerships.

Supply of fuel;

For the largest part financed privately (possibly some public financing for example for agriculture).

An investment program for infrastructure for the period until 2010 in the MIT 2000 - 2004 and the Infrastructure Fund, Mobility Funds, etc. The private sector is encouraged also to invest in transport through research programs and public private partnerships. The Dutch government has established a knowledge centre for PPS which stimulates the development of pilot projects.

Cooperation

National legislation in this area is be more and more dictated by European legislation. In border areas there is much attention for border crossing co-operation in the area of traffic and transport.

In 1999 the European Union has set new directions for atmosphere quality, with standards for NOx emissions, SO2 emissions, etc.. The Netherlands participates in the Auto Oil program (EU, 1997) to limit the air polluting emissions from road transport.

Themes that have priority in the Dutch input in international discussions and policy making within the European Union are: pricing policy, opening of the markets for public transport and the railway transport, safety and emissions, and electronically vehicle identification. 

In the Implementation Memorandum Climate Policy measures (until 2010) the Netherlands agreed upon a CO2 reduction in the framework of the Kyoto-protocol. In the National Environmental Policy Plan targets are set for reduction of emissions. Also the Netherlands try to put the CO2 standards for road vehicles on the Agenda of the Environmental Council on a EU level. 

Limitations of emission by air and maritime transport are set via ICAO and the IMO. For maritime transport a fast ratification of the IMO convention is necessary on the limitation of sulphur content of  fuel oil in the North Sea area. The Netherlands supports more restrictive regulations with regard to emissions, noise, safety and pricing policy than at the moment agreed upon in IMO and ICAO.

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: May 2001.

To access Measuring Environmental Progress: traffic, click here.

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