When its citizens demanded clean energy, The Netherlands responded in the best possible way. Following a ruling earlier this year when 886 citizens sued their government to reduce CO2 emissions, a court at the Hague ordered the Dutch government to adopt a goal of cutting carbon emissions by at least 25 percent over the next five years. In response, the Dutch railways unveiled plans to become 50 percent wind-powered by the end of this year and 100 percent by 2018.
The trains are reported to carry 1.2 million passengers each day and emit 550 kilotons of carbon dioxide, yet this number is hoped to reach zero within only a few years. Michel Kerkhof of energy company Eneco stated, “Mobility is responsible for 20 percent of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands, and if we want to keep traveling, it is important that we do this without burdening the environment with CO2 and particulate matter.” This speedy upgrade to renewable, safe energy sources is just what we need to address growing climate change issues.
Wind energy used to power the trains will be sourced not only by the Netherlands, but also from Belgium and Scandinavian countries. This allows the country’s resources to be used in other ventures. It also strengthens partnerships with other providers and encourages expansion of railway use throughout Europe. Perhaps this could be an inspiration to other nations – on all continents – to jump on board with the Netherlands’ enthusiasm to tip the scales toward renewable energy.
Via Discovery News