Politics Has An Increasing Eye For The Environment

The attention for sustainability in the election programs is growing. Although the environment is not exactly in the DNA of some parties, there is a growing awareness among them that you can hardly ignore it, says political scientist André Krouwel in BNR Duurzaam.

Sustainable Development and Global Environmental Politics

In the run-up to the parliamentary elections on 15 March, a number of parties stand out in terms of environmental care. GroenLinks has even included the green profile in its name, the Party for the Animals is not worried, but also with PvdA, D66 and ChristenUnie the stewardship – at least on paper – is still in good hands. VNL, PVV, and VVD are the least green, Krouwel observes.

Attention is increasing in recent years. Even parties that are not necessarily known for their pronounced green profile should also go along with the people, it seems. ‘You have to gradually, because the environment now also has an influence on how we produce, on wages and on investments. A party such as the SP, which traditionally relies mainly on themes such as employment conditions, income, and employment, is gradually gaining an environmental profile and seems to be developing into a ‘traditional left-wing party with fairly green positions’.’

Maximum speed

If you are talking about traffic and transport, then soon people think of highways and maximum speeds. With regard to the latter, potential coalition parties in particular soon limited themselves to obligatory one-liners. The VVD strives for optimum safety, but refuses to link speed to it, the CDA tries to give something to that consideration of a concrete interpretation, while the CU simply states 120 as a maximum, concludes Krouwel.


Require motorists to drive electrically by making it mandatory in 2025? Another hot topic and a bridge too far for right-wing parties in particular. At least: for cars. Because scooters seem to be a less sacred cow for the average party. ‘Certainly in cities with a lot of scooters that pollute a lot more than cars, a very good point can be made. And there you see that a party like the PvdA wants to make scooters electric. ”

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Public transport

Investing in public transport encounters considerably less resistance. Although several parties take the view that these investments should not be at the expense of improvements to the road network. ‘The Netherlands is a transport country, so you don’t have to levy extra duties. So you see that ‘gray’ parties believe that the economy and the environment must be in balance, without being solely concerned with the environment. ‘ Because is it obvious that greening the economy is creating jobs? “PVV says no, VNL says no, but left-wing parties say yes.”

VAT on airline tickets

VAT and excise duties on airline tickets, to compensate for polluting trips? It still appears to be a tricky issue. Only on short flights, as the SP wants? Always, as advocated by GroenLinks, D66, and PvdA? Or do you focus almost entirely on the runway engine that is aviation? ‘Some parties say: Schiphol needs to grow, it is a very important engine of the local economy, with 80,000 to 90,000 jobs. Are we going to kill all of that? “