45 people from We Stop Coal occupied the conveyer belts at the Engie coalfired power station on the morning of the 25th of April at 06.15, bringing operations there to a standstill.
The group demands urgently prioritised closure of all coalfired power stations in the Netherlands by 2020, and that all subsidies and tax breaks currently handed out to fossil fuel corporations (€7.6 billion per annum in NL) be transferred to the renewables sector.
Wim Vos, a group founding member gave the following statement ‘Climate change is no longer a problem of the future, people are already being hit hard across the globe – with floods, fires, droughts and extreme weather events, from Saint Martin to Mozambique. We consider it both necessary and legitimate to take this next step, from public protest to civil disobedience. That means we put our bodies in the way, where the change is most urgently needed.’
The CO2 emissions of the Netherlands have risen every year since the signing of the Paris Climate Accord. The Dutch government has ignored its international obligations, and the ruling of its own highest court on the Urgenda Climate case, mandating that it significantly scale up its ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the same period, new tax breaks and subsidies have been authorized for the biggest polluters. The government’s current proposals for emission reduction are wholly inadequate to the task.
The Engie facility currently in lock down has been promoting itself as ‘going green’ by incorporating biomass into its production mix. We Stop Coal points out that the burning of wood pellets only leads to further deforestation and emits even more CO2 than does coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.
‘We are well organized and extremely determined’ said Marianna Peters, ‘but many more people need to step up, wherever they are, and take bold action. There is no time left for little steps.’