The Netherlands breaks climate promise

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the Netherlands promised to stop financing oil and gas projects by the end of 2022. But new government policy shows Prime Minister Rutte is not keeping his promise sufficiently.

The Netherlands puts 1 billion euros a year in oil and gas projects abroad. In Glasgow Rutte promised the Netherlands will stop doing that. But the new government policy shows there will be a transition period, so that the Netherlands can still provide fossil fuel support after 2022. The policy also has too many exceptions for fossil fuel projects.

There is still hope...

In Glasgow, 33 countries pledged to end fossil fuel support. If they all stick to their word, 28 billion euros will be available for green investments. The United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and France have already come up with ambitious policies. Unlike the Netherlans these countries do not grant exemptions for investments in new gas fields or liquefied gas.

The Netherlands seems to be joining a group of laggards, but there is still hope. Rutte and the Dutch House of Representatives can still ensure that the Netherlands stops investing in oil and gas. Friends of the Earth Netherlands asks them to do so, together with Both ENDS, Oil Change International and the de Jonge Klimaatbeweging.

Isabelle Geuskens (Friends of the Earth Netherlands): “The Netherlands is putting the achievement of global climate goals at risk. Other countries have ambitious policies, but the Netherlands is looking for ways to continue fossil support. And thus sets the wrong example for other countries that have signed the Glasgow Statement. The Netherlands shows the world it is not a climate leader and puts short-term interests above a liveable planet and the lives of vulnerable people. Especially people in the global south are feeling the consequences of this policy.”

Photo: Activists in Ghana are calling on governments to keep their Glasgow promises.