Dutch life quality

According to the Dutch Central Statistical Office (CBS) the Dutch life standard is quite high. Dutch people give their own life quality an average of an eight, which is obviously quite high [1]. The overall health is good and mutual trust is high. There is, however, a problem.

To keep this high standard up, the Netherlands produces relative much greenhouse gasses per capita. Not only because it cost relative much to keep the quality high, but also because the Netherlands is an important transit country. Production of products, mostly in developing countries, usually has quite a large impact on the environment, biodiversity and commodity stocks. And these products are also imported (and exported) by the Netherlands, contributing to the impact of Dutch consumption and life standard to the global environment.

While this problem is known, the Dutch government still focuses on energy- and CO2 emission targets. This is a good focus, but a sustainable future is a lot more than investing in energy and CO2 emission. For example citizens' initiatives and public support for sustainable innovation is almost being neglected. These aspects, however, can really contribute to a more sustainable way of life and probably increase the life standard in the Netherlands. It almost sounds like a missed opportunity.

In my opinion the government should increase investment in local innovation, citizens' initiative and public support. This way the Dutch public might change their way of life, if only by a little, toward a more sustainable way of life. And with local initiatives and innovations, the local environment will probably improve also. A win-win situation. Finally an additional advantage might be to export this knowledge, increasing export revenues and our global reputation.


[1] http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/themas/dossiers/duurzaamheid/publicaties/artikelen/archief/2014/2014-074-pb.htm


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