The Hague, 10 February 2020 – After months of talks in a constructive atmosphere, the deal negotiated for the North Sea Agreement was today signed by the contracting parties. This is a milestone in the future of the North Sea and the energy transition.
Jo Peters, Secretary-General of NOGEPA: “This agreement means a lot to all stakeholders involved in the North Sea. The most important thing for us is that, from now on, approaches will be coordinated, and problems will be deliberated centrally through the North Sea consultation body instead of a silo-based approach where problems are addressed in isolation by the relevant ministries and parties.
“As far as our own members are concerned, we are pleased that we now have a broad coalition — from NOGEPA to Greenpeace and everything in between — that believes that gas production in the Netherlands should continue provided it is safe and compliant with the Paris Agreement, there are no better alternatives, and is preferable to importing even more foreign gas. We will therefore be recommending that our members support the deal, as agreed by the negotiators.”
The Dutch government, the energy sector, the fisheries sector, nature organisations and the trade association of seaports have reached an agreement within the North Sea consultation body. The motto of this Negotiators' Agreement is 'extra miles for a healthy North Sea'. It has been agreed that the North Sea consultation body participants will recommend this Negotiators' Agreement to their respective constituencies. Once the Cabinet has presented the negotiated agreement to the Dutch House of Representatives, there will be an opportunity for consultations within the stakeholders' own circles until 31 March 2020. The North Sea consultation body then hopes to proceed with the final adoption of the Negotiators' Agreement.
The parties to the North Sea consultations on the part of the government are: the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. For the energy sector:, NWEA, NOGEPA, EBN, TenneT. The fisheries sector is represented by: VisNed and the Dutch Fisheries Association. The NGOs represented are: the North Sea Foundation, WWF, Greenpeace, Natuur en Mileu, BirdLife Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland) and the seaports industry organisation. Natuurmonumenten also supports the negotiated agreement. The Consultation Body for the Physical Environment (OFL), chaired by Jacques Wallage, supervised the North Sea consultations.
The full text of the Negotiators' Agreement can be downloaded from OFL's website.