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New coalition puts brakes on sustainability efforts

New coalition puts brakes on sustainability efforts

It goes without saying that a new coalition brings with it different views and new plans. Yet, it still came as a surprise that the proposed cabinet has such a starkly different view on sustainability from its predecessors. What impact will this have – for example – on electric trucks, on excise duty, and on zero-emission driving? Here is our summary.



The introduction of a new coalition

On Thursday 16 May, parties PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB reached a coalition agreement. As of now, they represent the new proposed cabinet. The future governing parties convey a new outlook and vision, which is vastly different from earlier decisions in some respects. The climate and sustainability adjustments in particular were surprising.


When it comes to sustainability efforts, there is plenty of work to do in the transport sector, but we can proudly say that every single party has taken responsibility in recent years. There are also lots of projects in the pipeline and various developments underway, such as the aim to implement zero-emission fleets by 2030. However, the new cabinet seems to be putting a stop to all this.



Main changes in the logistics sector

In short, and with what we know so far, a significant number of decisions related to sustainability and climate have been taken. These will be developed in more detail in the period ahead. We have added a brief explanation of the decisions that will most affect you and the logistics sector.


* No more subsidies for electric vehicles from 2025

This will mean the end of the AanZET subsidy, a partial compensation towards the purchase of electric trucks. However, these trucks are many times more expensive to buy without subsidy than their diesel equivalents.


* Announced carbon tax overturned, Climate Fund to remain

The increase in carbon tax for businesses with high emissions will be revoked. The Climate Fund will continue to exist, but will be used differently. There are plans to use the funds for investments in innovations and technology. This might include the capture and underground storage of carbon, or green hydrogen. 


* Discontinuation of Nationaal Groeifonds (National Growth Fund)

This fund was set up to finance sustainable projects. Some examples include Digital Infrastructure Logistics, Zero-emission inland waterway transport, and the Maritime Masterplan.


* Zero-emission zones postponed

”The implementation of zero-emission zones will remain a municipal decision”, the agreement states. This would mean that the elaboration of this earlier measure would be put on hold.


* Excise duty reduction on fuels

There are plans to extend the reduction of excise duty on fuels for another year. Diesel was set to become a lot more expensive on 1 January 2025, but this increase will now be postponed for a minimum of twelve months. After that, excise duty is likely to rise by 21 cents per litre for petrol and 13 cents per litre for diesel.


* Infrastructure improvements

A number of road expansions are in the pipeline to ensure the Netherlands are easily accessible, both today and in the long term. ’Old plans’ for road adaptation are also revived again. The speed limit will be increased to 130 km/hour where possible.  



What now?

A lot of hard work has been done in recent years to achieve the ambitious climate goals previously set by the government as part of the European Green Deals. For example, quite a few zero-emission vehicles have already been purchased and more and more charging stations for heavy goods vehicles are being installed.


Now that the new coalition has signalled its intention to do away with subsidies for electric vehicles and postpone the implementation of zero-emission zones, other things might be put on hold too. A bitter pill to swallow for every entrepreneur who has tried so hard to make their business more sustainable.


Despite the new measures on logistics not being directly in line with expectation, the logistics sector is hoping for the correct continuation of plans made a considerable time ago. After all, wouldn’t it be a pity to allow the enthusiasm that has ignited in our industry in recent years to peter out?



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