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Environmental protection expenditure

Total environmental expenditure as a percentage of GDP has increased slightly since 2000, indicating that relatively more financial resources have been committed to protection of the environment. In 2015 as well, the share of environmental expenditure was slightly higher compared to the previous years.

National environmental expenditure includes all expenditure for environmental protection purposes. This concerns intermediate consumption, investments by companies, and final consumption by households and the government. Expenditure on nature and landscape management also fall under national environmental expenditure. Expenditure on renewable energy and on energy saving do not fall within the scope of environmental protection.

The issue

Environmental expenditure is an important factor on the path towards a greener economy. Investments in cleaner technologies make production processes less harmful to the environment. In addition, the production of environmental technologies by specialised manufacturers may contribute to economic growth. In cooperation with the private sector, the Dutch governmentis taking all kinds of environmental protection measures. These result in additional costs for industries, households and the government itself. Environmental costs include all expenses which are aimed at improving the environmental quality of air, water (including waste water), soil and groundwater, waste and noise pollution.


Between 2000 and 2015, national environmental expenditure increased from 10 billion euros to 16.6 billion euros. Of this amount, 5 billion euros were spent on environmental investments, while the remainder is for environmental services. Most of the expenditure is related to the treatment of waste water (34 percent) and waste management (32 percent), followed by nature and landscape management (8 percent) and reduction of air pollution (7 percent). Since 2000, expenditure on the prevention of air pollution and water pollution has increased sharply. By contrast, expenditure on soil pollution and noise pollution has declined. In 2015, households paid 1.4 billion euros for waste collection and 2.1 billion euros for sewerage and wastewater treatment.