Toespraak staatssecretaris Heijen bij ondertekenen Memorandum of Understanding,

Toespraak van staatssecretaris Heijnen (IenW) bij de ondertekening van een nieuwe Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). De tekst is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Your Majesty, Madam First Partner, Madam Lieutenant Governor, Madam Secretary, distinguished guests,

This MoU is a new milestone in our long-standing friendship and our strive toward a safer, better and healthier world. I feel very excited.

It’s fitting that my first official visit to the US as environment minister is to the state of California.
In the first few hours after my arrival, I noticed a lot of electric cars on the road. In the supermarket I received a paper bag. And in our hotel, they hand out aluminum waters bottle after check-in, to help reduce our use of plastics.

Being careful with the environment is the standard here. So, I’m proud that today we’re reaffirming our partnership today.

Our alliance is based on shared ambitions and goals on climate action. We are equally committed to climate action and the long-term goal of becoming low-emission societies. In the Netherlands we have ambitious goals on sustainable mobility, nature-based solutions and zero waste approaches.

We’re both working hard towards a circular economy – the missing link to achieve the Paris climate goals. We have national action plans on textile, plastics, urban development and manufacturing. The Netherlands aims to be fully circular by 2050.

But we also face common challenges. I’ll mention 2 of them.

  • First of all: the energy transition. More electric vehicles on our roads will have a big impact on the grid. So we also need to work on our energy supply.
  • Second: how do we ensure equity in this transition, so that all people in society will benefit? Air pollution, high energy prices and climate change disproportionately impact poor communities. Therefore, it’s important that we include everyone in this transition. One of my main goals is that more and more people can afford an electric vehicle.

One of the topics on which California and the Netherlands are collaborating is electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

As you probably know the Netherlands has one of the most extensive charging networks in Europe.
Under the MoU we’ve signed today, two organizations from the Netherlands and California agree to exchange information and best practices among testing facilities for smart charging infrastructure.
This is exactly the kind of cooperation that can help us accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility.
So, let me congratulate ElaadNL and the California Energy Commission on their agreement to work together on this!   

What it comes down to is: we need global climate action. Not tomorrow, but today. So that’s why I’m very happy to further strengthen our partnership with California.

Thank you.