Green growth and sustainable development

Green growth in action: The Netherlands


In October 2011 the Government of the Netherlands launched their Sustainability Agenda to examine how key sectors can help the country attain green growth. For example, it aims to have close to 85 % of waste recycled and to have 15 000 to 20 000 electric cars on the roads by 2015.


As part of the Sustainability Agenda, the Green Deal programme aims to involve the private sector in the green transition. For example, the government has set agreements with the Dutch Dairy Organisation and the Dutch Agricultural and Horticultural organisation to have zero-carbon emissions in dairy chains by 2020. By removing harmful regulations, Green Deals aim to strengthen private initiatives.


The Netherlands will also pursue greener production outputs by switching to a bio-based economy. By moving away from fossil fuel dependency, the government aims to protect the natural asset base as well as prevent carbon emissions. To do so, it cooperates with sectors such as the chemical, energy and water industries, as well as academia, to develop the usage of biomass for the production of materials, chemicals and biofuel products.


2010 OECD working paper describes potential reforms to the transport system, including public transport, which could reduce the economic and environmental burden of transport together with proposed housing market reforms, thereby improving prospects for sustainable long-term growth.


OECD green growth indicators in the Netherlands


The Netherlands was the first country to apply the OECD set of green growth indicators proposed in Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress – OECD Indicators. Using this framework will help the government analyse and improve the implementation of green growth policies.


In Green Growth in the Netherlands, Statistics Netherlands used 20 of the 30 indicators. The main conclusions of the report highlighted that the indicators related to the environmental efficiency of production showed increased efficiency while the indicators of the natural asset base provided a mixed picture. While the indicators of the environmental quality of life need to be further developed, the only available indicator, the one on pollution induced health problems, showed a slightly positive trend.   


The Netherlands also provided substantial support for the development of the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050, through the joint modelling work done by the OECD and the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.





OECD publications