Mark Rutte in Manhattan
Mark Rutte in Manhattan
However, a great number of powerful forces, like large oil companies, are still at bay denying the problems at hand. Barely four months ago, we witnessed how the Telders Foundation, the scientific institute affiliated to the Dutch political party VVD, issued the climate skeptic report ‘Zeker van Energie’. Political heavyweight Ed Nijpels of the VVD hastily distanced himself from the report, and VVD-minister Kamp refused to accept the recommendations, thereby continuing his support of wind energy.
Even Mark Rutte has made a strong case for ‘green-right’ in the past. Together with 150 other heads of government, he has been invited by UN boss Ban Ki-moon to attend the UN Climate Summit in New York. Rutte has ignored the publicised opinion of his party’s scientific institute, and will be present in Manhattan this Tuesday. Ban Ki-moon has requested the heads of government whom he has invited to the Summit to ‘stress the urgency of climate change’, while also calling for ‘climate action and ambition’. Or, in layman’s terms: a request to governments to pull out their wallets. This will however prove to be a tricky task, as we are currently dealing with a long list of other global crises which also demand large monetary contributions.
So what does prime-minister Rutte have in store for Manhattan? Up until now, most countries have been rather careful regarding their position and possible contribution. The only exception however is Angela Merkel. Germany’s Chancellor has come forward with €750 million; this amount is intended for the so-called ‘Green Climate Fund’, a UN fund in the making which will support developing countries and their measures against climate change. From this fund, up to $100 billion a year will eventually have to be invested in climate until 2020. Our opinion is that prime-minister Rutte, once he sets foot in Manhattan, should follow Merkel’s example and pledge a substantial financial contribution. By doing so, he can set a precedent and kickstart the climate negotiations of later this year, during which the usage of the fund will be discussed.
Manhattan will be teeming with government officials, VIPS and other important people. Rutte will have the opportunity to meet many of them. Yet, are they really the main characters of this drama? Actually we would much rather see Rutte in contact with those people who have already been affected by the consequences of climate change. After all, it is their seldom told stories which should be heard at such events. This time, however, they will be present in the program ‘Voices from the Climate Front Lines’. Rutte will also be able to listen to inspiring initiatives set up by local groups fighting against their changing environment. Like people such as Ursula Rakova in Papua New Guinea, who – together with her entire village - has been trying to move to the mainland as their island has been affected by salinisation and is on the verge of being flooded. Or take Ken Kinney, who is dedicated to sharing his knowledge amongst farmers in Ghana, so that food production remains stable despite the absence of rain.
Last year it was decided that the funding for climate, to be announced in Manhattan, will be taken from the Dutch development aid budget. This is, however, a peculiar logic. Why should there be less money for developing countries to solve a problem which not they, but the Western world and the Chinese have caused? Moreover, the Dutch House of Representatives has decided that Dutch money for climate should come from not only the government, but also from companies. Our opinion is that tax money (because that is what it eventually is about) should not be used to coax companies to join in. This would leave too little for the important work of Ursula and Ken. After all, investments from companies often have negative outcomes for people like them. Therefore, it should be Rutte’s task to listen to Ursula and Ken and conclude that the Netherlands should spend a significant proportion of public money on large climate change issues.
The Dutch taxpayer prefers transparency when it comes to knowing where his money goes. In 2010, the Netherlands was the first to set up an accessible online overview of climate funding expenditure during 2010-2012. Upon his return from Manhattan, Rutte should seek to revive this initiative. At the moment, it seems as though millions of euros paid by Dutch citizens have disappeared in an obscure forest of funds. This obviously does not contribute to raising support for the cause. And, what also isn’t helping is that we are spending much on tackling climate change on the one hand, while at the same time are supporting a bank such as the World Bank, which continues to invest in coal-fired power plants and other hazardous techniques. All in all, the fight against climate change demands a consistent policy in all areas. It is prime-minister Rutte’s task at the Summit to convey this message. Because – eventually - all other current global crises are peanuts in comparison to the climate crisis.
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Event / 23 March 2023, 13:15 - 14:30
Making finance for gender just water and climate solutions a reality!
The UN Water Conference is an important event that brings together stakeholders from around the world to discuss water and climate solutions. This year, GAGGA is organizing a side event during the conference that you won't want to miss!
On Thursday March 23rd, from 1.15 -2.30 pm, GAGGA will present their commitment to support, finance, and promote locally rooted, gender just climate and water solutions within the Water Action Agenda. This event will inspire other stakeholders to join in their commitment, while presenting inspiring examples of such solutions presented by local women from Nepal, Kenya, Paraguay, Mexico, and Nigeria.
Event / 23 March 2023, 09:00 - 11:00
Towards just water governance in Colombia; a dialogue on the Transformative Water Pact
Online side event at the UN Water conference in New York
This event will present The Transformative Water Pact (TWP), an innovative framework for water governance that has been developed by environmental justice experts from around the world. The TWP will serve as a starting point for dialogue between representatives of the government of Colombia, academia, regional and international NGOs in relation to Colombia's current ambitions in multi-scalar water governance.
Letter / 22 March 2023
Suggestions to the CRM Act appreciations for the Dutch government
While the energy transition via renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, is fundamental to reduce EU CO2 emissions, we are concerned with the impacts it will have on the (geo-political) economy, people and environment. Our collaboration with civil society organisations in the Global South over the past 30 years has shown us that the patterns of consumption by rich countries, such as the Netherlands and the EU in general, have a devastating impact on people and the environment in mainly Africa, South-America and South-East Asia.
Publication / 21 March 2023
News / 21 March 2023
Agua es vida: Both ENDS and water governance
Water is literally life, the lifeblood of ecosystems, of nature, of humans. However, in many places the distribution and use of water is unjust and unsustainable. Water management is generally focused on short-term economic interests, on maximizing the profit of a well-connected few at the expense of people and nature. This dominant view of water and water management has its origins in the European industrial revolution, which became the global norm through colonialism and globalization. But according to Melvin van der Veen and Murtah Shannon, water experts at Both ENDS, this view will have to give way to equitable, sustainable and inclusive water management. Both ENDS cooperates with and supports communities and organisations worldwide who are working to this end.
Press release / 20 March 2023
A Transformative Water Pact : A radical response to the global water governance crisis
Academics and civil society representatives from around the world came together to articulate an alternative vision and framework for water governance, in the run-up to the UN Water Conference 2023 in New York. The Transformative Water Pact was developed in response to the continued exploitation of nature, neglect of human rights and the extreme power-imbalances that characterize contemporary water governance throughout the world. It details an alternative vision of water governance based on the tenets of environmental justice, equality and care.
Publication / 15 March 2023
Publication / 15 March 2023
Publication / 9 March 2023
Press release / 9 March 2023
Dutch Pension funds do not vote in line with climate ambitions
Most Dutch pension funds and their asset managers do not vote consistently in favour of climate resolutions at the oil and gas companies and banks in which they invest. That is the conclusion of a report published today by Both ENDS and Groen Pensioen. Eleven of the twelve* Dutch pension funds studied have made public statements and pledges about adapting their policies in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. But their voting behaviour does not sufficiently correspond with these pledges. Only pension fund PME votes for 100% in line with its own climate promises.
Publication / 9 March 2023
Event / 5 March 2023, 13:00
On Sunday March 5 Both ENDS will be joining the Feminist March (called Women's March before). It starts at 1 PM at De Dam in Amsterdam.
With our block "Feminists for Climate Justice" we'll gather in front of Madame Tussauds.
News / 4 March 2023
Op-ed: We can’t leave tackling the climate crisis to men
Make women and gender equality a priority in climate policy, wrote Rebecca Heuvelmans (Women Engage for a Common Future), Marjon Melissen (ActionAid), Esin Erdogan (Simavi), Annelieke Douma (Both Ends) and Eva Lia Colombo (Wo=men Dutch Gender Platform) in Dutch newspaper Trouw. Sunday March 5, they'll join the Feminist March in Amsterdam.
Event / 2 March 2023, 14:00 - 15:30
Inclusive finance for land governance: A conversation with donors
Both ENDS and the Land Portal Foundation invite you to the fourth webinar in the Whose Land? Inclusive Pathways to Land Governance series. This fourth Whose Land? webinar will focus on the question: How can donors fund land governance initiatives through an inclusive process?
More information about this event is available on Landportal.org
Letter / 28 February 2023
175 CSOs call on world leaders to end OECD export finance for oil and gas
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.
News / 20 February 2023
Almost 60 organisations send a letter about fossil export support to Dutch Parliament
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.
Letter / 20 February 2023
Letter of international CSO's to Dutch Parliament: close gaps in Dutch policy on limiting public finance to fossil fuels
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.
News / 6 February 2023
Op-ed: Dutch construction project in the Philippines shows that voluntary corporate social responsibility doesn’t work
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.
News / 5 February 2023
Using Philanthropy, Advocacy and More to Shift Power
(This interview was published on January 18th in Inside Philantrophy)
Most people in philanthropy don't enter the sector because they have dreams of working in a financial institution. But that's exactly what they're doing. The philanthropic sector as we know it today was deliberately designed by the robber barons of the early 19th century as a response to extreme wealth inequality they created through exploitative labor practices in the oil, steel and shipping industries. Whether to genuinely make amends for the harms they created or to engage in reputation washing, the industrialists cornered the market on philanthropy, guarding against legal challenges to its tax shelter functionality and curtailing regulatory legislation that could induce democratic decision-making. Today, the value of philanthropy stands at about $2.3 trillion, which is 3% of the global economy.
News / 10 January 2023
In Memoriam: Irene Dankelman
With pain in our hearts we say farewell to Irene Dankelman. She was pioneer in the field of gender and environment and one of the founders of Both ENDS.