In 2021, the Dutch government provided a €1.000.000.000,- worth export credit support to Totals Mozgas project in Cabo Delgado, despite civil society warnings about human rights and environmental risks. The gas exploitation fueled a violent conflict, culminating in the Palma attack, displacing 800,000 people and killing 1,200 people.
To realise the energy transition, large quantities of minerals and metals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earth metals are needed. These raw materials are mainly extracted in countries in the global South, and unfortunately this is almost always accompanied by human rights violations and environmental destruction. Today – also in light of EU Raw Materials Week that is happening this week – Argentinian organisation FARN and Both ENDS publish a joint report on the extraction of lithium in Argentina.
The Dutch government, through its export credit agency Atradius DSB (ADSB), provides export support to companies that undertake activities abroad. The state wants projects it insures to have no negative consequences for people and the environment and therefore sets requirements for corporate social responsibility (CSR). A consultation on CSR policy ran until the end of April, to which a coalition of thirteen social organisations from the Netherlands and abroad, including Both ENDS and Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth the Netherlands), responded.
In October 2022, the Dutch government published a policy to implement the COP26 statement in which it promised to stop public finance for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022 . The proposed policy, unfortunately, has quite some 'loopholes' that make it possible for the Dutch government to keep supporting large fossil projects abroad for at least another year. These projects often run for years and will have a negative impact on the countries where they take place for decades to come.
This joint position launched by 175 civil society organisations from 45 countries calls on world leaders to end OECD export finance for oil and gas, and explains how it can be done.
This op-ed was published in Dutch newspaper Trouw on the 3rd of February this year
Abuses committed during the construction of an airport in the Philippines show the urgent need for legislation on corporate social responsibility here in the Netherlands, say Murtah Shannon of Both ENDS and Maartje Hilterman of IUCN NL on behalf of a coalition of Dutch and Philippine organisations.
Today, a letter, undersigned by almost 60 organisations from countries that face the consequences of fossil fuel projects or stand in solidarity, has been sent to the Dutch Members of Parliament. This Thursday, a debate about the export credit facility and the policies around it, will take place in the Dutch Parliament. The coalition calls upon Dutch politicians and policy makers to stand up against any form of export support for fossil fuel projects that are to be executed by Dutch companies abroad, expecially in the global South.
Both ENDS works with partners worldwide to amplify the voices of communities that are experiencing first-hand the devastating social and environmental impacts of unsustainable financial policies and practices – from climate change to pollution to forced displacement. For more than two decades, we have worked to draw attention to an obscure, yet hugely influential type of financial institution: export credit agencies (ECAs).