“The Netherlands is an open economy. Most of our industrial production is destined for export. If the Netherlands were the only country to impose a hefty carbon tax, we would be shooting in our own foot. That’s why we need to adopt a higher carbon surcharge or tax together with other countries in Northwest Europe or even further afield. It goes without question that we need a higher carbon surcharge to successfully make the energy transition. Right now, industrial parties pay € 20 in emission rights for every tonne of CO2 released into the atmosphere. We need to raise this amount to € 50 or € 70 per tonne. This will make new technologies economically competitive and give further impetus to the energy transition.
Businesses in Rotterdam are prepared to invest in carbon reduction measures. But if their competitors in other countries don’t do so too, Dutch companies will literally be pricing themselves out of the market. The solution? To work together internationally to agree on a higher carbon surcharge, while simultaneously introducing a bonus-malus scheme in the Netherlands as proposed in the Draft Climate Agreement. In this scheme, companies that stay behind are ‘fined’ while companies that lead the way are ‘rewarded’. And meanwhile we need to invest in infrastructure that makes it easier for businesses to ‘go green’: heat networks, for example, carbon transport networks, offshore wind power and hydrogen.
The very fact that we have such a large, strong and efficient industrial cluster ensures that as far as the energy transition is concerned, Rotterdam has a very strong starting position.”