Change to sustainable society goes hand in hand with employment

25 May 2016

Change to sustainable society goes hand in hand with employment

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling is urging the government, in the wake of the Paris climate accord, to make some progress towards the change to a sustainable society. Alongside this, Smaling argues, it’s important that employment remains a priority and that there are sufficient and training and retraining opportunities. On Tuesday, a parliamentary majority supported this proposal. “We need to work hard on making society sustainable,” says Smaling. “In this change we need to prioritise measures which give people the opportunity to participate and which generate employment and maintain purchasing power.”

Parliament also gave its support to another proposal from Smaling, to combat subsidence in peat meadow areas. This followed the success of a previous motion which led in March to a national conference against subsidence, whose title, which translates into English as ‘The whole of Holland is sinking’, sums up the gravity of the problem. “As a result of a low groundwater level in a peat meadow area the soil is sinking and CO2 emissions are rising rapidly,” Smaling explains. “By enhancing the groundwater level, CO2 emissions will be reduced. That would be a positive step in tackling emissions. Of course in addition to that other measures will have to be taken, for example closing coal-fired power stations and introducing cleaner and different forms of transport.”

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