Environment lobby needs to stop speaking Double Dutch

Ian James Parsley

Of all the ludicrous decisions I have seen taken by governments and courts, one taken in the Netherlands last week comes very near the top of the list. After a campaign by environmentalists, a court ordered the Dutch Government to reduced emissions by 25% from 1990 levels – by 2020. This is crazy for three reasons.

Firstly, it cannot and will not be done. No doubt the Government will pay itself a hefty fine.

Secondly, it assumes, ludicrously, that all the emissions are under the control of the government. In fact, very few are. From corporations to individuals, responsibility for emissions is shared. The government cannot be held responsible in a remotely liberal society (and we are speaking here of a very liberal one of course) for all of its citizens and corporations’ actions. Punishing them for living their daily lives and running their daily business (necessary to achieve the…

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