The Netherlands has decided not to sign a pledge to stop spending taxpayers money on supporting international fossil fuel projects at the COP26 environmental summit in Glasgow.
The United States, Canada and 18 other countries on Thursday committed themselves to stop public financing for oil, gas and coal projects abroad by the end of next year but the Netherlands was not among them.
According to the finance ministry, the caretaker cabinet considers it a ‘controversial’ matter for the next government to decide on.
But environmental groups described the Dutch decision as ‘bizarre’ and described the call to action issued by prime minister Mark Rutte on the first day of the conference as ‘empty words’.
Climate change is a serious issue that demands serious action. This is why it’s important to be here in Glasgow today at @COP26. NL’s ambitions are clear: gradually reduce harmful emissions to zero and make ourselves more resilient to climate change. pic.twitter.com/sOgkdPgWdJ
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) November 1, 2021
Official Dutch involvement in the fossil fuel industries abroad comes primarily from export credits extended to projects involving Shell, Van Oord, Boskalis and Heerema, the NRC reported.
The Netherlands did, however, support a motion to stop investment in coal-fired power stations both at home and abroad by the end of 2022. The Netherlands currently has plans to phase out the use of coal to generate power by 2030.
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