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Dutch industry's carbon intensity should improve faster

Dutch heavy industry’s carbon intensity is “hardly” improving compared to European benchmarks, the country’s emissions authority said Tuesday.

"We do not have the impression that Dutch industry is doing worse on average than industry in other European countries, but compared to our own national climate goals and the desire to be among the top in Europe, there really is still a lot of work to be done,” said Dutch emissions authority Director Mark Bressers.

Within the EU ETS, industrial carbon intensity benchmarks are set based on the 10% most efficient installations under the scheme.

Dutch industry was 13.8% off benchmarks in 2021 – a modest improvement from the 14.9% recorded in 2018.

The research found oil refining, chemicals, and metals to be the least CO2-efficient industrial sectors in the Netherlands.

The 10 largest industrial emitters in the Netherlands are jointly responsible for more than 4.8 Mt of the 6.1 Mt in potential CO2 savings to be achieved if the sector achieved the European benchmarks.

“The entire industry will have to become more sustainable, but the biggest emitters have the greatest potential,” Bressers said.

Since 2021, Dutch heavy industry also faces a separate domestic carbon tax based on EU benchmarks, which is applied on top of EU ETS costs.

Industry will feel an additional squeeze from 2023 when the newly-tightened benchmarks from the EU ETS are applied.

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