Prime Minister Mark Rutte's fourth coalition government has earmarked $40 billion over a decade for green measures and plans to become climate neutral by 2050.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's fourth coalition government has taken office, with pledges to spend big on climate change and Covid-19 relief efforts.
King Willem-Alexander formally swore in the new government at a socially distanced ceremony in the ballroom of the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague on Monday, a record 299 days after the last election.
The new government, formed after gruelling negotiations, has earmarked $40 billion (35 billion euros) over the decade for climate measures, leaving behind years of austerity.
It has promised to build two new nuclear power stations and to become climate neutral by 2050, as one of the world's lowest-lying and densely populated countries confronts rising sea levels.
The government also includes the Netherlands' first ever dedicated climate and energy minister, Rob Jetten, 34, charged with curbing emissions and the country's reliance on fossil fuels, especially gas.
Bike-riding premier Rutte, 54, has said the coalition wanted to "lay the foundation for the next generation", especially on climate as around a third of the Netherlands' landmass sits below sea level.
The new coalition has also promised generous spending on housing, childcare and education, but will first have to deal with the health crisis as the Omicron variant has pushed coronavirus infections to record levels.
Record women's representation
The coalition also comprises the same four parties as the last government — Rutte's centre-right VVD, Kaag's progressive D66, the centre-right CDA, and the conservative Christen Unie.
The Dutch have set another unwelcome record by being under a caretaker government for almost exactly a year, after the previous coalition resigned in January 2021 over a child benefits scandal.
But new coalition has a record number of women, with an unprecedented 14 of the 19 ministers and secretaries of state being female.
Dubbed the "Teflon" prime minister for his ability to dodge scandals and stay in power, Rutte said in December he wanted his new government to "restore trust".
Rutte is on course to becoming the longest-serving Dutch premier later this year, and is already the EU's second longest-ensconced leader after Hungary's Viktor Orban.
The path to his fourth government since 2010 was a difficult one and came after protracted negotiations following elections on March 17.