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Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth: Implementation of the Energy Agreement

Summary of Energieakkoord voor duurzame groei

September 2013

The Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth gives voice to the willingness of many parties to work on making our society and our economy sustainable. A sustainable energy supply is an indispensable component of that process. The agreement unites divergent interests and brings together more than forty organisations – including central, regional and local government, employers’ associations and unions, nature conservation and environmental organisations, and other civil-society organisations and financial institutions. It is based on the awareness that a long-term perspective means placing the common good far above the separate interests of either individuals or organisations and that it also means a growth path defined by energy and climate objectives as well as by feasible and necessary gains in competitiveness, employment, and exports.

Both the public and its political representatives feel a strong desire to make the Netherlands’ energy supply more sustainable. That much was made clear by the groundswell of support for the House’s motion of 26 April 2011 concerning a “National Energy Transition Agreement”. The Rutte/Asscher Government is accordingly aiming, within an international context, to achieve a completely sustainable energy supply system by 2050. Society’s wishes in this regard are being expressed in many different ways.

Given this background, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) took up the gauntlet for the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth by acting as a platform and by facilitating the process. It did so in its advisory report Towards an Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, which was adopted at its meeting on 16 November 2012. The conference kicking off the process that led to the agreement took place immediately after this meeting.

The agreement summarised in this document is the result of more than six months of intense negotiations between more than forty representative organisations. Many dozens of scientists, business people, politicians and other Dutch stakeholders also contributed their ideas and insights to this process. They did so during meetings held throughout the country, at brainstorming and expert sessions at the Council’s head office, through online consultation procedures, in letters that they submitted, or in in-depth interviews. The energy invested by all those involved ultimately resulted in the ambitious agreement that is set out in this document.

Continuity and support for the agreement require a proper anchoring mechanism and good governance. The starting point is to tackle the many action points and procedural arrangements that the parties have agreed in this context. The effectiveness of the agreement therefore depends on our success in anchoring the relevant arrangements and in monitoring their progress and incorporating learning effects. The Council will continue to facilitate this process by accommodating a committee set up especially for this purpose.

Wiebe Draijer
President of the Social and Economic Council