Today, at 1pm, over ten thousand people gathered in The Hague to protest against the Dutch government’s handling of the climate crisis, as part of a global strike relay.

The climate change protest in The Hague

The protest today in The Hague was organised by several different groups, including Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion. They demanded that the Dutch government commit itself to an ambitious and socially just climate policy.

The police have not yet released an estimate of the number of demonstrators, but according to NOS there are at least 15,000. The organisers themselves speak of more than 25,000. The crowds have been so big that the police have ordered the organisers to move to Malieveld, rather than the smaller Koekamp. Koekamp was the original location for the beginning and end of the protest and has now been blocked by trams by the police.

Estimates say that between 15000 and 25000 people were at the protest in The Hague today. Image: Teresa Gubern.

This protest in The Hague is part of a worldwide relay strike that New Zealand began this morning. Earlier this week, the UN summit was held in New York. That is why organizers felt like this would be the best time to hold the protest week for climate justice.

How is the Dutch government handling the climate crisis?

Public awareness of the climate crisis has grown in recent years in the Netherlands. Most Dutch people believe that climate change can only be averted by government action and by big businesses altering their production methods. Only 42 percent believe that their own actions have an impact on the climate crisis, according to a report by I&O Research.

Public awareness of the climate crisis has been growing recently in The Netherlands. Image: Teresa Gubern.

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to become legally obligated to mitigate the impacts of climate change, following the Urgenda ruling. The Urgenda ruling makes it illegal for a government to allow dangerous climate change to happen. The Dutch government has repeatedly attempted to overturn this ruling, but so far it has been upheld.

According to Fridays for Future Nederland, the Dutch government’s actions have not been in line with the decision of the court- meaning that it has not taken sufficient measures to evade dangerous climate change. Fridays for Future Nederland argues for a Green New Deal, which would include a fundamental reorientation of the economy, making affordable eco-friendly alternatives available to everyone (such as public transport in place of flights, sustainable homes and workspaces, and plant-based locally produced food), and working to protect nature and biodiversity (by combatting the nitrogen crisis, for example).

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What do you think of the climate protests in the Hague? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Teresa Gubern/Supplied. 

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