Call for Action 2018

ENOUGH = ENOUGH: break the power of the fossil fuel industry!

Natural gas extraction is leaving deep marks in Groningen. Due to earthquakes, ten thousand homes and buildings were damaged or became uninhabitable. People from Groningen have been fighting for restoration, financial compensation and the end of natural gas extraction. The psychological damage caused by the mining activities is substantial.

Meanwhile, government and businesses fail to take the necessary measures  to counter climate change. The NAM, Shell and Exxon, supported by the Dutch state, do everything to avoid paying damages and to keep raking in high profits – at all costs. Even now that the government in the Hague finally acknowledged that the gas extraction needs to stop, the fight is not over.  Gas needs to be kept in the ground for the safety of Groningen and the climate – not after 2030, but since yesterday already.

What is happening in Groningen, and how people are treated there, is daily practice for the fossil fuel industry everywhere.  In locations where fossil fuels are extracted, people and nature are of no importance. Meanwhile the global temperatures have risen by already one degree due to human activities, and the consequences are hitting harder all around the world. People’s lives are destroyed. More and more animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. In many places the social, economic and political conditions are deteriorating, also increasing tensions between countries.

For many years, fossil fuel industry has actively denied that climate change is caused by fossil fuel burning. Responsibility was never taken. Information was withheld. Lies were spread and solutions blocked.  Governments and businesses should now do everything to end climate destruction. Natural gas is a fossil fuel.  It is no solution as ‘transition fuel’.  Gas is part of the problem.

The unscrupulous exploitation by the fossil fuel industry is being enabled by neoliberal governance, unfair trade agreements and ever growing inequality between and within countries.  As a result, private interests can be and are placed above people and society. Climate change due to fossil fuel burning is threatening most exactly those people who contributed and profited the least.  This system, where large inequality is possible and the voices of large groups of people are not heard, has to come to an end.

We demand that the government, the NAM, Shell and Exxon take their responsibility: both for Groningen and the climate.  Distant far-future promises are solving neither the earthquakes nor the climate problem. Drastic measures are needed now: the gas extraction needs to scale down faster and the NAM, Shell and Exxon must justly pay for the damages. It appears that the government, the NAM, Shell and Exxon are not planning to do this. That is why we will take mass action against natural gas extraction around 28th of August, the day when Groningen town celebrates its liberation from the siege of 1672. Enough is enough. Together we will break the power of the fossil fuel industry!

We take action for:

Just compensation for damages and the end of gas extraction

  • The Dutch government must finally put the interest of people who suffer from the gas extraction first;
  • The natural gas extraction in Groningen must stop sooner;
  • The NAM, Shell and Exxon must pay fairly for the damages that they caused and take care of strengthening houses and public buildings;
  • The mining law cannot be changed such that the NAM, Shell and Exxon can escape from their responsibility for compensating mining damages;

Truly sustainable energy

  • Drastic measures are taken to stop the use of natural gas;
  • Sustainable choices are made instead of natural gas from Russia, extraction from smaller gas fields and fracking;
  • Citizens and users should have the power over energy instead of private businesses;

A fair transition

  • Investments are made in sustainable energy and jobs in the region;
  • A just transition fund for people who lose their job when the fossil fuel industry comes to an end;
  • Low and middle income groups do not have to bear the costs of the transition, but large businesses and high income groups can;
  • Let polluters pay, stop the abolition of the dividend tax and reduction of capital and corporation tax;

A just world

  • A fair and sustainable economy that respects all life on our planet;
  • The Netherlands acknowledges its historical ecological debt and pays a fair contribution in stopping climate change and climate injustice.

This call for action was written by the Code Rood media and communication working group, with input from other working groups. On the 6th of May, a first version was discussed at the action conference and this input was used to further improve this document. This callout was published on 9 June 2018. The viewpoints of Code Rood are also described in the manifesto ‘It’s Code Red for the climate!’ that was written in 2017.

Our call for action is supported by the following organisations (add yours too?):