Greenpeace to take Dutch state to court over bail-out for highly-polluting KLM


Environmental organisation Greenpeace Nederland says it will take the Dutch government to court unless it overhauls a planned €3.4bn bail-out for airline KLM.

The support plan, in the form of loans, will only ‘push us deeper into the climate crisis and contravenes the Dutch state’s duty to look after its citizens,’ the organisation said in a nod to the ground-breaking Urgenda ruling.

Greenpeace says the bailout must be more closely tied to a commitment to reduce carbon emissions, and if that is not possible, then the entire package should be revamped. The Dutch flag carrier, the campaign group says, emits more carbon dioxide than the biggest Dutch coal-fired power station.

In addition, KLM only plans to reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2030, when all other companies have been told to reduce their carbon footprint by 49% in ten years time, when compared with 2005, Greenpeace said.

‘We are convinced that we have right on our side and can show serious arguments,’ Greenpeace said. ‘We have carried out a detailed case study with lawyers and legal experts, and we think we have a good chance of having this billion euro subsidy package dropped.’


Last December, the Supreme Court ruled that the Dutch state is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of its people.

The court said that the Dutch courts do have the power to determine if the government is meeting its obligations, as set down in the European treaty of human rights, which commits the state to protecting its citizens.

The ruling means that the government must now reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 25% by the end of this year when compared with 1990.

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