The first international climate strategy: what does it contain? | ministries

Blog post | 07-10-2022 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Current plans are unable to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. It has major consequences for people and nature worldwide, especially in the poorest countries. With the international climate strategy, the Netherlands is committed to a stronger climate effort, also beyond our own national borders. We explain what the plans are.

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The Netherlands is the first to present a strategy that includes the entire national government’s international climate plans. This strategy was established on the initiative of Minister Liesje Schreinemacher for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and Minister Rob Jetten for Climate and Energy.

Why does the Netherlands need an international climate strategy?

The war in Ukraine underscores the importance of working together to tackle climate change. Dependence on Russian gas requires a faster transition to renewable energy, and high food and fuel prices are fueling hunger and malnutrition in the developing world. It is also the poorest countries that are hardest hit by climate change.

By deploying Dutch knowledge and expertise and more extensive funding, the Netherlands wants to support developing countries in the transition to renewable energy and increase climate resilience. The climate goals agreed in Paris and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as guidelines in this regard.

The Paris Climate Agreement

In 2015, countries agreed in Paris to halve global greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming, ideally to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. These agreements were confirmed during COP26 in Glasgow.

Less CO2 emissions (reduction)

Three quarters of global emissions come from the use of oil, natural gas, coal and lignite. CO2 is released when these substances are used, for example when cooking, driving or heating our house. In addition, the Netherlands also contributes to CO2 emissions abroad because we use many products that are produced abroad.

In order to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, in the coming years the Netherlands will focus more on:

Renewable energy

The Netherlands aims to give a total of 100 million people access to renewable energy by 2030. With renewable energy you immediately think of solar and wind energy. The Netherlands is also working on an international route for green hydrogen through the Dutch ports.

Circular economy

In a circular economy materials are reused and recycled. This means less waste and fewer raw materials. For example, the Netherlands supports local circular economy training programs, such as in Kenya.

Sustainable mobility and transport

The Netherlands has experience in establishing a charging structure for electric cars and buses. And also think about the most important means of transport in Dutch cities: the bicycle! Abroad, Dutch companies are increasingly helping with the design of cycle plans and the construction of cycle paths. For example in the USA and Austria.

Make agriculture more sustainable and combat deforestation

The Netherlands wants to protect the tropical rainforest and other forest areas. Forests are important for biodiversity and also store a lot of CO2. It can, for example, European legislation and rules for deforestation-free production and consumption help with. The Netherlands also supports local projects in sustainable agriculture and deforestation, such as in Nigeria and Ghana.

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Picture: ©Flip Franssen

The climate is changing, the world is changing with it (adaptation)

We are more likely to experience extreme rainfall, forest fires and droughts. More and more land is becoming unusable for growing food, and the risk of flooding is increasing. In the coming years, the Netherlands will place extra emphasis on how we can deal with climate change and how we can prepare for the consequences. The Netherlands focuses more on:


The Netherlands has extensive experience in the construction of dykes, locks, dams and other flood defenses. This allows us to help other countries with water management, such as Jakarta and South Sudan. The Netherlands also puts the importance of water high on the international agenda as co-host of the UN 2023 Water Conference.

Agriculture and food systems

Dutch companies and knowledge institutions can help farmers around the world adapt to the new climate, for example by building terraces in Ethiopia.

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The Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia, for example, supported the construction of terraces.


In the coming years, the Netherlands will contribute more to climate action in the developing countries. A new climate fund will also stimulate the efforts of companies. In 2025, the Netherlands expects to spend 1.8 billion euros on climate action, of which at least half will go to climate adaptation.


The international climate strategy gives direction to the Dutch efforts during the UN’s annual climate conference. COP27 will take place in Egypt in November. Here, too, emphasis is placed on how we can reduce emissions, how we deal with climate change worldwide and how we can prepare for the consequences.

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