Stepping stones to the future

Main report
At the request of Pijnacker-Nootdorp local authority the ‘frontrunners scenario’ in the Routemap for a Climate-Neutral Haaglanden was re-elaborated for the former municipality, which has announced its intention to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. With greenhouse horticulture a prominent element of the local economy, the challenges ahead differ from those faced by most other Dutch municipal authorities. The horticultural sector accounts for almost half Pijnacker-Nootdorp’s CO2 emissions and climate-neutral greenhouse horticulture is therefore a major priority in local climate policy.

Although the objective set by the municipality has been framed in terms of climate policy, that policy will also have substantial economic and social impacts. As an example, the aggregate domestic energy bill of Pijnacker-Nootdorp households currently stands at € 37 million euro per year, but will drop to a mere € 8 million if all the measures described in this study are implemented. The envisaged policy package will thus lead to substantially lower living expenses and boost the local economy.

The study’s main recommendations for Pijnacker-Nootdorp are: 

  • To secure the ultimate goal for 2050, all the cited technical measures need to be implemented. It is not a question of picking and choosing but of going all the way, although there is some scope for ‘give-and-take’ between the various measures. The main thrust of the programme lies in achieving climate-neutrality in the heating requirements of the existing building stock in relation to the horticultural greenhouses.
  • De keuzemogelijkheden liggen bij de beleidsmaatregelen die de gemeente treft. ‘Soft’, persuasive measures entail a greater risk of the envisaged targets not being secured than policiees in the form of guarantees and regulations.
  • Pijnacker-Nootdorp’s (interim) targets can be summarised as follows:
    – 2020: 20% renewables, 20% emissions reduction relative to 1990
    – 2030: 50% emissions reduction relative to 1990
    – 2050: climate neutrality

Catalogue of measures 
The Catalogue of Measures included as Appendix B to the report shows there are numerous policy measures (actions) that can be implemented by the municipality. The described actions are elaborated in far greater detail than those described in more general terms in the various chapters of the main report.

Most of the catalogued measures are actions in the realm of public information,  encouragement, coordination and facilitation. Inherent in these ‘soft’ measures is that their CO2 reduction impact cannot be readily calculated in advance, because of the multitude of factors involved in decisions by private citizens and businesses. So although the exact effect of most of these soft measures cannot be estimated in advance, it is essential that the municipality plays a leading role in achieving the energy transition. Fulfilling that role means Pijnacker-Nootdorp must maintain a consistent policy course over a great many years.

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