Increase government spending to combat effects of climate change

This article is an adapted version of the article published on 20 September at 15.00 hrs. Two changes have been made.
- the original article stated that expenditure to reduce climate change in 2007 amounted to just over 900 million euro, 0.25 percent of all
  government expenditure. This has been changed to 0.35 percent of government expenditure.
- the graph in the original article with expenditure on preventive climate policy has been replaced by a new graph with the correct

In 2010, the Dutch government spent nearly 1.3 billion euro on actions to address climate change. Important in this respect are energy-saving projects and the promotion of renewable energy sources, like wind energy. 

Rising costs

The costs involved in containing climate change have risen in the course of time. In 2007, the costs amounted to more than 900 million euro, 0.35 percent of total government expenditure. In 2010, the central government, provinces and municipalities spent 1.3 billion euro on preventative climate policy, 0.4 percent or more of total government expenditure and 0.2 percent of the gross domestic product. The rising costs are mainly due to higher subsidies for generation of renewable energy.

Costs of preventative climate policy

Costs of preventative climate policy

Renewable energy and sustained mobility

Three quarters of central government expenditure on preventative climate policy in 2010 concerned subsidies for renewable energy, e.g. the scheme Environmental Quality of Electricity Production (MEP) and the Scheme for Promotion of Renewable Energy (SDE). Sustained mobility, for example, the promotion of the so-called New Driving concept involved high costs at the central government level.
Together, Dutch provinces spent 122 million euro on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. The focus was on energy policy, e.g. the promotion of energy-saving projects. Municipalities spent 15 million euro in 2010, for example on energy-saving new housing estates, investments in facilities for cyclists and subsidies for insulation of houses.

Distribution of costs preventative climate policy, 2010 (in millions of euro)

Distribution of costs preventative climate policy, 2010 (in millions of euro)

Netherlands, country of water

Apart from reducing the effects of climate change, adaptation to the possible consequences of climate change is becoming increasingly important, in particular protection against flooding on account of the rising sea level and better discharge of rainwater due to climate change.
Altogether, government expenditure related to protection against water has risen from 1.6 billion euro in 2007 to more than 2 billion euro in 2010. This is in mainly caused by higher costs for dams and dikes and research programmes like the Room for the River project.
The extra costs for protection against flooding cannot be calculated accurately. Regular costs for maintenance of flood defence works have always been high in the Netherlands, a country where water is omnipresent.

Marjan de Kruik

Bron: Adaptation and mitigation expenditures due to climate change of the general government 2007-2010