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Why Amsterdam Is Giving Up on Natural Gas

The city plans to wean its homes off domestic natural gas by 2050, starting now.
New homes in Amsterdam's IJburg, a series of artificial islands where future homes will be warmed by heat pumps.
New homes in Amsterdam's IJburg, a series of artificial islands where future homes will be warmed by heat pumps.Zoetnet/Flickr

By 2050, Amsterdam hopes to put its gas-heated days behind it. In a city where natural gas warms 90 percent of all homes and contributes 30 percent of all carbon emissions, removing all those boilers won’t be easy—but it could very well be worth it.

From here, the deadline might seem far away, but the journey to that target is beginning right now. This week, the city announced that in 2017, 10,000 public housing units will have their gas supplies removed, and new neighborhoods in the city won’t have natural gas as an option either.