Energy Live@Night

Energy Live@Night

Jan Blom, editor and publisher of the sustainability magazine P +, organised a ‘feedback conference’ of energy experts and energy companies in 2011 to give an evaluation and reaction to the new energy policy of the Dutch cabinet. This congress was called Live @ Night and has been followed by the media. Paul Heistein from One Planet participated in the panel and made a calculation and a prognosis; in order for the Dutch government to meet its Kyoto climate objectives, it would have to create a 20% price difference between a carbon-intensive and a low-carbon way of life. This means stopping with the massive hidden tax supports and kick-back subsidies that are given to a wide range of fossil-intensive industries, and replacing them with a Carbon Tax. These subsidies are fiercely defended by a web of special-interest lobbyists (in fishing, agriculture, air travel, harmful biomass subsidies etc.) who preach economic doom and job losses if these fossil subsidies are removed. Fossil-favourable government policies now prevent renewables from taking over from fossil energy the market. If fossil users were made to pay the true external cost of fossils, and the playing-field was level, then renewables would quickly take over.   

Project Perspectief, run by VROM (a government department) had shown conclusively that a 20% price differential, is enough to persuade citizens to adopt an ultra-low-carbon lifestyle. Also with a better quality of life! (see Inspiration on this website.) But the farmers lobby was not happy with the conclusions of the Perspective project. It was too far ahead of its time and they did not like the  reduction in meat consumption that is required for a low-carbon lifestyle. 

With the new energy policy in place, the Dutch government has no hope whatever of achieving its own climate promises.

Download: Live@Night