Air and water quality in the Netherlands: an EU concern

The European Commission has issued reports assessing the main environmental concerns facing each member state, in addition to encouraging a plan of action for implementing the EU's environmental policy. 

The Netherlands report

The main concerns outlined in the report for the Netherlands were related to the quality of the county’s air and water.

It stated that improving the quality of water was a priority, particularly with regards to the nutrient concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in surface water due to eutrophication.

It also outlined that improving the quality of air within the Netherlands by reducing its concentration of nitrogen dioxide and ozone, could prevent premature deaths. 

Poor air from traffic congestion

According to the report, the main culprit for poor air quality was traffic. It stated that major metropolitan cities like Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague were all in the top 12 worst cities for traffic congestion and pollution within the EU.

Specifically, the Netherlands ranked second when it came to the worst pollution caused during rush hour and the economic costs directly related to it. The report issued a warning to focus more on reducing emissions released into the atmosphere.

National nature networks

Whilst the Netherlands is leading in various other green initiatives such as their Circular Economy, another concern outlined in the report was to do with the country’s lack of attention to its national nature networks.

In order to reduce habitat fragmentation and the loss of biodiversity, the report issues a warning for improvement, stating that it should reduce the pressure from agriculture. 

Netherlands still leading

According to EU Environmental Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, "The Netherlands has long been a leader in environmental policy, and scores very well when it comes to compliance with the EU rules on drinking water quality and waste water treatment."

Brussels published a comprehensive report for each of the 28 member states to provide an overview of how EU environmental policies are implemented in each country.

Kiri Scully


Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five countries over three continents. Fuelled by culture curiosity at an early age,...

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