One of the most notable judgments on climate change is the pioneering judgment of the Hague court of 24 June 2015. This decision attracted the attention not only of the Dutch media, but also of the foreign media. The Hague court ruled that the Netherlands should take more measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In practical terms, the state must ensure that Dutch greenhouse gas emissions are at least 25% lower than in 1990 in 2020. This is the first time a court has ordered a government to set higher climate change targets. Unsurprisingly, the verdict was criticized. According to some researchers, the district court`s decision is contrary to the established jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands and finds that a mandatory injunction by the legislature is in principle contrary to the constitutional role of justice and is therefore not possible. Some scientists have even argued that climate change is a political issue that should not be dealt with in court at all. In September 2015, the Dutch government appealed the decision of the district court. To combat climate change, the Dutch government wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Netherlands by 49% by 2030 compared to 1990 and by 95% by 2050. These targets are set out in the May 28, 2019 climate law.
The Climate Plan, the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) and the National Climate Agreement include policies and measures to achieve these goals. The Dutch climate law came into force on 1 September 2019. The Act provides a framework for policy development to irreversibly and progressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Netherlands in order to limit global warming and climate change. To achieve this target by 2050, the Climate Act aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030 and fully carbon-neutral electricity generation by 2050. The Minister of Economy and Climate Action is responsible for the development of a climate plan for the next ten years, which contained the main elements of climate policy that must be pursued in order to achieve these goals. The Climate Act also contains a chapter on accountability. Under the Climate Act, the Dutch Environment Agency conducts a climate and energy study to the Minister of Economy and Climate Action once a year. It is a scientific report on the impacts of climate policy in the previous calendar year, which contains at least greenhouse gas emissions across and by sector, as well as developments and measures that have affected greenhouse gas emissions.
The Dutch Environment Agency published its first climate and energy exploration in November 2019. This first report estimates that the reduction in CO2 emissions in 2030 will be about 35% compared to 1990, but the effects of the national climate agreement could not be taken into account. In September 2019, the Minister of Economy and Climate Action also published his draft climate plan, evaluated by the Council of State.