At last: the Netherlands to end support for coal, oil, and gas projects abroad

The Netherlands will be joining a UK-led group of countries that want to end governmental support for fossil fuel projects abroad. The group was formed at the climate summit in Glasgow.

In a green bold move signed by major international investors like Canada and the United States, as well as European countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and Italy — the Netherlands finally added their signature to the mix after some internal theatricals.

Why does this matter?

For the participating countries, this plan aims to stop governmental activities and investments linked to fossil fuel energy projects abroad, such as searching for new oil fields or constructing gas-powered stations, NU.nl reports.

According to RTL Nieuws, making fossil energy more expensive and less accessible forces large oil and gas companies like Shell, and other major investors, to find clean energy projects to compensate for their losses — which consequently helps in limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees.

Outgoing State Secretary of Finance, Hans Vijlbrief, notified the House of Representatives that the Dutch government will wrap up international support for fossil projects before the end of 2022.

Back-and-forth

The Netherlands’ participation in this green move didn’t come without some backstage drama. Initially, the outgoing Dutch cabinet didn’t want to sign the agreement, citing that it’s a decision for the new government.

That’s when the outgoing ministers received some heat from critics and the Dutch House of Representatives alike, which prompted a last-minute change of heart about the subject.

“It is a firm decision to make, so we wanted to leave it to the new cabinet. But then came the critical reactions from politics and society. The summit in Glasgow is happening now, they said, which is actually a good argument. We looked at it again and said, let’s make the decision now.” Prime Minister Rutte described the timeline of how the decision was reached.

GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver expressed that they’re pleased with the cabinet’s decision, describing it as a “no-brainer move to keep the climate crisis under control.”

Raoul Boucke of the D66 also applauded the Netherland’s participation, calling it “the only good choice” in an effort to “invest in the future instead of in fossil technologies and fuels of the last century.”

What do you think of the Netherland’s move toward ending governmental support for fossil fuel projects in other countries? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Urbanbuzz/Depsoitphotos

Farah Al Mazouni
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or “welcome” to her latest adventure in this wonderland.

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