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20180715 Shell pitches hydrogen as energy solution
Royal Dutch Shell plc is stepping up on its offer of energy solutions, by investing in hydrogen as a prospective commercially viable option for passenger vehicles as well as a storage system for electricity generation. In an interview, Shell Vice President for Global Business Environment Jeremy B. Bentham, who is also the head of Shell Scenarios, noted that with hydrogen, this is seen thriving in the immediate future as a mobility solution for passenger vehicles, including heavy duty transport; and at the same time, it will be underpinning industries’ need for storage, primarily in the electricity sector.

20180713 These five taboos remained untouched during the climate table talks
After months of negotiating, the Climate Agreement of the Netherlands has been shaped. It’s aim: half the amount of CO2 emissions should be reduced in 2030. However, concrete plans are missing and obvious solutions remain undiscussed. Some of the relevant sectors are even missing at all. This article discusses some of the main shortcomings.

20180713 Many questions remain unanswered
Three months of negotiating on behalf of the Climate Agreement have passed, but still many questions remain unanswered. After the ‘proposal for the main points of the Climate Agreement’ had been presented, the absence of concrete decisions – such as who will pay for the measures – has been criticized. Many of the sensitive issues have been postponed to September, when the government will decide on these topics.

20180713 The enormous gamble of the Climate Agreement (Opinion)
Opiniated article by Bert van Dijk and Carel Grol, who analyse the negotiation process of the Climate Agreement. They argue that the problems are complex, difficult to outline clearly and that there is a high interdependency. Because no-one knows how the puzzle will look like, investing in an overarching solution is in fact a gamble.

20180713 How realistic is Europe’s strategy to cut CO2 emissions?
Europe’s plans for decarbonising transport may need some tweaking, according to a new study from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) that looks at barriers to the uptake of electrically chargeable cars in the European Union. The EU’s current clean mobility plans rely heavily on a massive growth of electric vehicles in the auto market.

20180711 Stakeholders of the Mobility Table of the Climate Agreement Could not agree on plans
The outline of the Climate Agreement has been presented, but it’s not yet clear how this outline will be formed into concrete agreements. Regarding the Mobility Table, much discussion during the past 5 months has taken place, based on facts and statistics. Though, no agreement has been reached on how to pay for possible solutions. Ultimately, in the area of mobility, 7.3 billion megatonnes of CO2 must be saved until 2030, which is roughly 16% of the emissions that are now available.

20180711 Climate Agreement: ‘It often was hard against hard but parties are still together
The general outline for the Climate Agreement has been presented to Eric Wiebes (minister of Economic Affairs and Climate) by Ed Nijpels. Nijpels looks back with generally good feelings on the negotiations. Especially how all parties agreed at first instance to accept the 49% reduction target, which was set out by the minister. The table of the urban environment seems to have come the furthest with their proposals. Although it is up to politics in The Hague now to form a further judgment on the proposal, Nijpels warns for selective pick-and-choose by politicians to advance their own agenda for their constituency, as this undermines the Climate Agreement as a whole.

20180711 Who’s to get the bill of the Climate Agreement?
Now that the outline of the Climate Agreement has been presented, the following and more important question arises: who is going to pay for all the proposed measures? After the summer recess when the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) has calculated the effects of all the measures, the negotiations on who will pay what exactly will pick up speed. According to Wiebes, the responsible minister for Economic Affairs and Cliamte, the starting point for the government is 'affordability and feasibility for households'. The minister did however note that companies look with great enthusiasm at the subsidy budgets of the government. And as far as Wiebes is concerned, with a little too much eagerness.

20180711 Avantium to build the world’s first biorefinery for industrial sugars
Chemical company Avantium is going to build in Delfzijl the first biorefinery in the world which processes wood chips and forest residues into sugars for the chemical industry. Apart from Avantium, the consortium consists of AkzoNobel, RWE, Staatsbosbeheer and Chemport Europe, the green regional chemicals cluster of governments, companies and knowledge institutes in the Northern Netherlands. The new plant must be operational in 2022-2023 and serves as a model to set up such factories elsewhere in the world for different types of locally available biomass waste streams. The biorefinery involves an investment of approximately € 100 million. It is expected that the bio-PEF plant will open in 2023.

20180706 Dutch National Climate Agreement: no reason for celebrations
Expectations for Tuesday’s presentation of the National Climate Agreement have dropped significantly. At the Mobility Table a wide array of measures has been proposed and discussed. However two forks in the road have been encountered with each of the proposals. Firstly, public emotion is hard to counteract, i.e. who decides on how somebody travels from A to B. Secondly, changing taxes. Motivating less emission-intensive travelling is heavily dependent on the travel option’s taxation. Road-pricing is off the table due to strong resistance by VVD (liberals) and CDA (Christian-democrats). Parties sitting at the table have placed their trust in sustainable biofuels, although the question remains in which quantity this source for less CO2 emission may remain available in the foreseeable future.

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