Executive Director visits the Netherlands

26 March 2018

180326 Birol Netherlands Dr Birol, IEA Executive Director (right), with Mr Eric Wiebes, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (centre), and Mr Noé van Hulst, Dutch Ambassador to the OECD and Chair of the IEA Governing Board (left).

THE HAGUE – Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, was in The Hague for an official visit today, joined by Mr Noé van Hulst, the Dutch Ambassador to the OECD and Chair of the IEA Governing Board. 

The day began with a bilateral with Mr Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, to discuss developments in global energy markets and their implications for the Netherlands. Discussion focused on efforts being taken by the Netherlands to meet the country’s commitments to the Paris Agreement and work being undertaken in consideration of further raising the level of ambition. They also discussed efforts underway to “open the doors” of the IEA to emerging economies, to step-up IEA work on a range of clean energy technologies and the crucial role of the Netherlands as a gas hub and gas exporter for Western Europe.

Later in the day, Dr Birol led an energy roundtable with a group of Members of the Dutch Parliament and CEOs of leading energy companies operating in the country. This was held at the Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, a historic building in the centre of town. Key items of discussion included international climate policy, developments in gas markets and carbon leakage. Dr Birol noted that the petrochemicals and energy cluster in the Port of Rotterdam was a leading global example of how energy efficiency and process integration combined with technology innovation could boost competitiveness. Resource efficiency, the use of lighter and alternative feedstocks, as well as the integration of Carbon, capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) are key sustainable strategies for the Netherlands going forward, he said.

The day ended with meetings with executive and ambassadors from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss  global energy and climate issues and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.