16. Can we do without fossil fuels?

16th blog, March 5, 2019

In the Netherlands, we have the idea that we can do without fossil fuels and that we can actually reduce our CO₂ emissions by 95% by 2050. The question is whether that is realistic. If, in order to neutralize the emissions of our trucks, we need more than 40,000 windmills with a cost of 600,000 euros per truck, how much do we need for the other energy using equipment? How much for Tata, an iron ore melting company? For KLM, our airline company? For our 7 million passenger cars? I read that a ship that visits the port of Rotterdam emits the same amount of CO₂ emissions per day as all the Rotterdam cars together in one day. Aircraft is even less efficient than ships.

Tata has now decided not to place its newest factory in the Netherlands anymore. In addition, recently one of the largest chemical companies in the world decided not to invest in the Netherlands, but elsewhere. Could this have happened because they do not know how to function without fossil fuels and therefore prefer to avoid insecurity by no longer investing in the Netherlands - where they see an uncertain future under the Dutch Climate Agreement? If this is the case, then the Climate Agreement will cost us thousands of jobs and thus damage our welfare.

In order to generate sufficient energy for all these processes, we would have to place hundreds of thousands of wind turbines in the Netherlands. Do we want such an industrialized turbine landscape? Will we not be dizzy when we see wind turbines all around us? Feeling that we get drunk without drinking? What about our birds? And even if in 2050 we have almost eliminated fossil fuels, can ships electrically move by then and aircraft fly electrically? Last year Boeing sold over 800 aircrafts and in their prognoses they expect the market to buy 43,000 aircraft in the next 20 years. Around 2050, all of them will still be flying on fossil fuels. The same applies to the ships.

In short, do we have the technology to emit 49% less CO₂ in 2030 and 95% less in 2050? How big is the reality level of the Dutch Climate Agreement? What is our plan B if it is technically not feasible? Can it be done in any other way because that we have to emit 0% CO₂ is beyond doubt. Yes, read how we do this in these blogs and spread the message. In the next blog you will read 'Will Amsterdam become the new Atlantis?'.

Pieter Hoff
Green Musketeer

Background information
On 8 October 2018, the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) issued an emergency call to all countries to reduce their CO₂ emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The Netherlands wants to comply with this by means of a Climate Agreement. Pieter Hoff is of the opinion that the Climate Agreement needs additional policies to achieve 0% net CO₂ emissions by 2030 and that this supporting policy can be implemented much more efficiently, quicker and less costly than the current proposals that are included in the proposed Dutch Climate Agreement.