Extinction Rebellion has called a halt to its daily blockade of the A12 motorway because MPs will shortly debate a motion calling for fossil fuel subsidies to be phased out.
Next Tuesday MPs will vote on a motion put forward by GroenLinks and D66 which calls on the government to draw up different scenarios for ending the tax advantages to industry that uses oil, gas and coal within two to seven years.
Industry that uses oil, gas and coal benefits by up to €46.4 billion a year from lower taxes, government investment and other indirect subsidies, according to figures from the economic affairs ministry.
If a majority of MPs vote against the motion, the campaign will resume “with more of us”, XR said on social media.
“If the motion passes, we will look at it critically. And if the conditions are not good enough, we will ready ourselves for the next steps.”
The government figures, drawn up by climate minister Rob Jetten’s department, say steel makers, inland shipping, horticulture, oil refineries and coal-fired power stations all benefit from lower taxes, and that the benefits increase the more fossil fuels they use.
A majority of MPs say the subsidies should be phased out, but there is no agreement about the time frame. Jetten also wants the government’s macro-economic forecasting agency CPB and the environmental planning agency PBL to look into the overall effect.
The campaign group has blocked the A12, a main artery into the centre of The Hague, every day for the past 27. Thousands of people have been arrested and the organisation has also gone to court to get the police to stop using water cannon to break up the protests.
On Friday Extinction Rebellion was placed at the top of the latest edition of the Sustainable 100 list drawn up every year by newspaper group Trouw. The jury said that the group’s campaign style, such as the A12 protests, is needed to halt climate change, despite the problems.
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