Thin ice

Earlier this week, American researchers published a claim that the North Pole would be virtually ice-free within a few decades. The very same day, a group of leading Dutch business men – including top dogs at Shell, KLM and DSM – published a letter calling on the next government to take climate change more seriously.

And, today, the government’s own energy task force – led by the Shell Nederland boss – called for €6bn in environmental investments.
It’s pretty ironic that the heads of companies more usually associated with pollution are out there driving up political awareness of the problems facing the Netherlands. If sea levels rise, as expected, most of the Netherlands will disappear.
It’s that simple. Of course, big business has a vested interest in keeping the country above water. But, when it comes to corporate responsibility for the environment, it needs government support to ensure there is a level playing field internationally.
So why hasn’t the government put up more of a fight? And why the deafening silence from GroenLinks – supposedly the Netherlands’ green party? Its leader, Femke Halsema, has just said she doesn’t want the party to get involved in the next cabinet. Great ambition, girl. You’d do a better job for the environment if you went to work at Shell.

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