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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: The Netherlands 2015

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: The Netherlands 2015

This report is the third OECD review of environmental performance in the Netherlands. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on sustainable mobility, and waste and materials management.



The OECD Environmental Performance Review Programme provides independent assessments of country progress in achieving domestic and international environmental policy commitments. The reviews are conducted to improve environmental performance, promote peer learning and enhance accountability. They are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data, and provide policy-relevant recommendations.

Each review cycle covers all OECD countries and selected partner economies. The most recent reviews include: Spain (2015), Poland (2015), Sweden (2014).

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Executive summary

As a small, densely populated country with a very open economy, the Netherlands became a forerunner in environmental policy decades ago when it was confronted with acute environmental pressures. More recently, the government has reined in ambitions for environmental policy objectives to levels set by the European Union (EU), with a view to promoting a level playing field. Given its strong track record, it may be tempting for the Dutch government to wait and let other countries catch up in areas where it is already doing well. But, the country still faces some persistent environmental challenges, including addressing diffuse pollution (such as nitrogen deposition in nature areas) and securing significant improvements in the quality of ecosystems and biodiversity, and new issues continue to emerge.

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