Saturday 08 August 2020

Milieudefensie: NL sponsors fossil fuels to the tune of €8.3bn a year

The beneficiaries include airlines, says the report. Photo: jvanderwolf via Depositphotos

The Dutch government subsidises fossil fuel-burning companies to the tune of €8.3bn a year, claims a new report from environmental groups Milieudefensie and Oil Change International.

Their study, ‘Past Time for Action’, claims that although the Dutch government promised in 2013 to phased out fossil fuel grants and subsidies, it still supports companies driven by these fuels. It has added up the cost of energy tax exemptions for fuels used in aviation and waterway transport and financing for international ‘fossil fuel production and related infrastructure’, which it says has averaged €8.3bn a year between 2016 and 2020.

Although former economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said there were no official ‘subsidies’ for fossil fuels in 2018, a government report has also acknowledged that fossil fuels are effectively subsidised to the tune of some €14,000 a minute through tax breaks or government funds.

Milieudefensie and other environmental groups want the cash to be diverted into stimulating greener forms of energy.

‘Aviation companies such as KLM get €2.1bn a year at the expense of train passengers for example,’ said Milieudefensie director Donald Pols in a press release. ‘The big polluters from heavy industry get millions in tax perks that are paid for by households and small businesses.’

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