Fabrieken die CO2 uitstoten
Fabrieken die CO2 uitstoten

Climate Council advises government: Act decisively and with policy on CO2 removal to meet climate goals

Active government action is needed to remove CO2 from our atmosphere. The Scientific Climate Council (WKR), of which Radboud University researcher Heleen de Coninck is deputy chair, argues that the government should focus their policy on permanent CO2 removal, encourage its realization with a procurement program, and also drive policy in Europe.

For the Netherlands to make a fair and responsible contribution to the climate goals, the net greenhouse gas emissions of the Netherlands should go to zero as soon as possible. To achieve the climate goals, CO2 removal, which involves taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequestering it for a long period of time, is necessary.

Maximum effort to reduce emissions

Although CO2 removal is necessary, the WKR warns that the focus on CO2 removal should not come at the expense of reducing emissions. CO2 removal has high costs and requires large land and energy use, which severely limits opportunities. CO2 removal can also cause other social issues, such as conservation and health, to be compromised. Responsible policies maximize emission reductions so that dependence on CO2 removal is kept to a minimum, as well as CO2 removal.

Heleen de Coninck, deputy chairwoman of the WKR and chairwoman of the committee that prepared the advice, emphasizes the need to develop policy now, both for maximum emission reduction and for CO2 removal: "The government should ensure that in 25 years' time the Dutch will not have to cough up tens of billions to remove our current excess emissions from the air. These are billions that then cannot be spent on housing, health or livelihood security."

Read the full message as well as the report (both in Dutch) on the WKR site. 

Contact information

For further information, please contact the researcher involved or team Science communication via +31 24 361 6000 or media [at] ru.nl (media[at]ru[dot]nl).