An example of a soft regulation is the Dutch National Climate Agreement – “Klimaatakkoord”. In 2019, an agreement with the electricity, industry, built environment, mobility, and agriculture sectors was achieved to deliver on climate goals. The central goal of the Agreement was to reduce emissions by 49 per cent in 2030 compared to 1990, with the further ambition of reaching 95 per cent less emissions by 2050. The Dutch Government engaged in an inclusive social dialogue that included a large number of organizations, NGOs and businesses. The Agreement contains several sectoral subchapters, including one on the built environment.
A central element of the approach to the built environment is switching buildings from natural gas to more sustainable heating sources. The approach includes measures on different thematic elements (a district-orientated approach to the built environment, tax instruments, and innovation instruments and education) and three sectoral approaches (private residences, residential rental properties and non-residential properties). The focus of this chapter in the agreement is the residential rental property segment; this consists mostly of measures taken by the social housing sector. A good overview, in English, of the entire chapter on the built environment, can be found in the Dutch Long-Term Renovation Strategy that was submitted to the European Commission in 2020.
Despite many fiscal and legal obstacles in recent years, Dutch housing corporations have signed a declaration that they are willing to increase their investment in construction (new construction, sustainability, and maintenance). The aim is to continue and accelerate these investments and, where possible, also make additional countercyclical investments when legal and financial frameworks allow for it.https://www.klimaatakkoord.nl