Netherlands Netherlands

The Netherlands is trending upward, improving to 8th in the current CCPI and among the highest overall performers.

The country receives a high in the Renewable Energy category, and a medium in Climate Policy and GHG emissions, but its high energy consumption leads to a low ranking in that respective category.

The CCPI data show that the share of renewable energy supply in the Netherlands is still low, but there is a strong upward trend. The country has high energy consumption (far above the EU average), and its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are also very high. The country’s climate policy is based on the EU’s legal framework and policy guidelines, as the national climate law sets a target of 55% GHG reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. The country has a well-developed climate policy system focusing on a circular economy, offshore wind, and solar energy.

Major incentives for renewable energy…

The CCPI country experts report there are major incentives for renewable energy, while support for new renewable electricity projects will be phased out from 2026 on the assumption that new projects will no longer require subsidies. Grid constraints, however, are increasingly hampering the development of large-scale solar PV fields (not rooftop systems) and onshore wind projects.

The Netherlands, the country with the highest livestock density in Europe and one of the largest livestock traders in the world, faces the problem of high nitrogen levels. The CCPI experts report that these levels are causing problems in nature reserves and negatively affecting water quality. As this breaches EU nature protection laws, the Dutch government has adopted measures for reducing livestock numbers through voluntary buyouts of farmers. This year, the European Commission affirmed that the plans are permissible under state aid rules.

…but the energy supply is mainly based on fossil fuels

The Dutch energy supply is mainly based on natural gas and other fossil fuels. The experts highlight that in recent years the Netherlands has almost completely shut down gas production in the Groningen gas field, one of the world’s largest such fields. Gas production in the area had caused earthquakes, and homeowners were not compensated. The experts also point out that the use of coal for power generation will be phased out by 2030.

In 2023, environmental organisations criticised the Dutch government for continuing to subsidise fossil fuels at €46.4 billion a year, according to figures from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (based on the World Trade Organization’s definition of fossil fuel subsidies). Ongoing protests have prompted the Lower House to ask the Cabinet to set a path for phasing out these subsidies.

The experts call for additional measures to promote sustainable agriculture. The government should also phase-out fossil fuel subsidies and note be reluctant to introduce regulatory measures.

Key Outcomes

  • The Netherlands is trending upward, improving to 8th in the current CCPI
  • The Dutch energy supply is mainly based on natural gas and other fossil fuels
  • Key demands: additional measures to promote sustainable agriculture and phase-out fossil fuel subsidies

CCPI experts

The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI:

  • Sible Schöne (HIER)

Key Indicators

CCPI 2024: Target comparison