All options are open to Climate and Energy Secretary Rob Getten in a gas crisis. “We’re also looking at coal-fired power plants, but I wouldn’t hesitate to accelerate climate action.” This is what he said tonight news hour†
“The Netherlands must cut CO2 emissions faster. So subsidize, standardize and price more. All this must be done faster now,” says the minister, who does not want to lose sight of the climate during the gas crisis.
Jiten explained to climate plans from the cabinet. It states that the government wants to strengthen the direction of climate policy. Gettin stresses that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is an additional reason to act faster. The Netherlands should be climate neutral by 2050 at the latest.
“Because of the war, we are also experiencing here that energy is a lever from Russian President Vladimir Putin. We are now facing the burden of that. That is why we have to build the green economy faster,” says Cetin, who remains positive. “On average, we will use a third less gas this year, and gas consumption has already fallen sharply.”
Gettin says there are also options for the upcoming winter. “Import more liquid gas. The Netherlands is off to a good start. We can import quickly from other countries. Companies are lining up for delivery to the Netherlands.”
Russia’s Gazprom decided this week to close the gas tap (partially), because Gastera, the largest gas importer in the Netherlands, does not want to pay in rubles. In any case, it was agreed across Europe to become less dependent on Russian gas as soon as possible. But if Russia shuts off the gas tap before Europe has alternatives, the Netherlands will have a contingency plan.
A contingency plan is not necessary for Jetten at the moment. In the short term we are in good shape. But he warns. “There could be a domino effect because of the countries that depend more on Russian gas. Then the neighboring countries have to help and they can also get to the Netherlands. This can be very exciting and that means emergency measures: allowing companies to use less gas temporarily, Which means that energy will be provided to families.”
Dependence on Russian gas arose at the beginning of this century through his actions, then Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende went to Moscow to conclude a contract with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the supply of natural gas to Siberia for a period of twenty years. Despite Jasoni’s warnings that Putin may use natural gas as political leverage, with dire consequences.
20-year gas contract with Putin
The Cabinet is working with the Gas Protection and Recovery Plan of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This provides measures in the event of a gas crisis. For example how gas will be distributed in case of scarcity. For example, if the crisis worsens, the Cabinet could isolate companies and entire parts of the Netherlands from natural gas. First, the industry will be decoupled, but hospitals and households will be “protected users.”
Cetin: “The plan is a work in progress. Now we understand much better that the situation is different and that we should never depend on one country again.” Gettin talks to large gas consumers about the consequences of shutting down. He does not want to name sectors. “Because it is sensitive business information.”
Coal-fired power plants, now operating at 35 percent of capacity due to climate targets, could start running faster again in terms of Jettin. “This is a European crisis, many countries are dependent on Russia. They have a really acute problem. Because of the domino effect, you have to be prepared to take emergency measures.”
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