A court in Holland has ordered the Dutch government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least a quarter by 2020. Three judges said the decision was, "to ensure that the Dutch emissions in the year 2020 will be at least 25 per cent lower than those in 1990." Environmentalists hope others around the world will follow Holland's lead in a global drive to reduce emissions. Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, echoed this sentiment, saying: "This historic ruling will have far reaching consequences in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world." Bill Hare of Climate Analytics agreed. He said: "This could be the first judicial warning shot to governments around the world."
The judges' ruling came after 900 Dutch citizens took legal action against the Dutch government to get it to comply with international regulations. Holland was far behind many other countries in reducing carbon emissions. It was on target for a 14 to 17 per cent reduction by 2020. The Dutch court decided this was unacceptable for a country as developed and progressive as Holland. It also said that hitting a target of just 17 per cent would cause huge embarrassment for the Dutch. The Dutch government must now accelerate existing plans to close coal plants, increase the use of windmills, solar energy and other renewables, and drastically cut the amount of gas it takes out of the ground.