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 / 12 May 2019
Europe's future. What does it look like and, more importantly, what kind of Europe do we want?
News / 10 May 2019
Alfred Lahai Brownell, director of our Liberian partner organization Green Advocates has won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize last month. He is awarded for his efforts to protect Liberian rainforest from palm oil concessions. In the past, Both ENDS has worked with Alfred Brownell and his organization which filed a complaint against palm oil company GVL.
Publication / 8 May 2019
News / 8 May 2019
Organisations join forces against polarisation
A broad coalition of organisations has joined forces for peace, human rights, equal opportunities for all and a society where discrimination and exclusion are actively opposed. Under the name "Heart trumps hates", the organisations call upon the public to sign a manifesto and to vote against divisions and for connection at the European elections on May 23rd 2019. On Sunday May 19th an event takes place in Utrecht, where visitors can make a joint statement. People in ten other European countries will also take action on this day.
Press release / 7 May 2019
Brussels, 7 May 2019 - In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Press release / 6 May 2019
Almost 100 candidate EU Members of Parliament have signed a pledge drafted and endorsed by European NGOs and prominent individuals in which they commit - once elected - to promoting policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and to recognising and securing forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come. The organisers hope to get many more signatures before the EU elections, to make sure the new EU parliament will start treating these topics with high urgency as soon as it is installed.
News / 1 May 2019
Amsterdam 1 May 2019 - Dutch pension fund ABP's 'sustainable and responsible investment report’ today suggests that the pension fund is well on track in terms attaining its internal sustainability goals. However, an analysis by Fossielvrij NL, Both ENDS, urgewald and Greenpeace shows that ABP remains on a collision course with the Paris climate goals. At the end of 2018, ABP still invested 16.5 billion Euros in the fossil industry. ABP's investments in the world's 44 largest climate polluters even increased between 2016 and 2018.
Pension funds have a lot of influence because of their enormous assets. Both ENDS therefore wants pension funds such as the Dutch ABP to withdraw their investments from the fossil industry and to invest sustainably instead.
Event / 13 April 2019
On Saturday April 13th, the annual Africa day will take place in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.
Both ENDS and Voice 4 Thought will organise a joint workhop (in English), titled:
'Positive vibes from the Sahel: from regreening to slam poetry'
Facilitator: Andrew Makkinga
The Sahel region from Chad to Senegal is often seen in the Netherlands as an immensely dry, infertile area where extremists and smugglers serve and where hunger thrives. But there is so much more to tell about the Sahel region.
Over the last decades, a large number of positive social initiatives have been taken up both in the cities and in rural areas. Initiatives that create and stimulate self-esteem, culture, education, climate resilience and prosperity.
Young people are often the driving force behind these movements, which is not surprising considering that almost 70 percent of the population in a country like Niger is under the age of 25.
In this workshop Both ENDS and Voice4Thought want to tell the other story of the Sahel by highlighting some of these positive initiatives, and by showing how they are interlinked and part of a larger, bottom up movement in this area.
Hope to see you there!
Blog / 12 April 2019By Daan Robben
On Friday March 29 a special JWHi meeting took place at the Both ENDS offices, making the most of the unique situation having several grantees in Amsterdam for various reasons. The meeting facilitated the rare opportunity to bring together perspectives of the various actors in our fund: the advisory committee, the JWHi team of Both ENDS and last but not least the grantees from Kenya, Brazil and Colombia.
News / 12 April 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Sara Crespo Suarez of our Bolivian partner Probioma explains how the effects are already being felt in her country.
Press release / 5 April 2019
The Hague, April 5, 2019 - Today Friends of the Earth Netherlands will deliver a court summons to Shell to legally compel the company to cease its destruction of the climate, on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries. A 236 page complaint will be delivered to Shell's International Headquarters in the Hague this afternoon by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, ActionAid NL, Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace NL,Young Friends of the Earth NL, Waddenvereniging and a large group of co-plaintiffs.
Publication / 4 April 2019
News / 21 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Jahin Shams Sakkhar of UTTARAN (Bangladesh) talks about floods, salinity and (in)justice.
News / 19 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Ana di Pangracio, working for FARN (Argentina) tells us about climate threats to large wetlands, while these same wetlands are crucial in mitigating global climate change.
Event / 10 March 2019
On Sunday the 10th of March 2019 Both ENDS will be taking part in what is expected to become the largest climate march in The Netherlands as of yet. The march is organised by Milieudefensie, Greenpeace, Oxfam Novib, FNV, De Goede Zaak and the Woonbond and supported by Both ENDS and a large number of diverse civil society organisations. Together, we demand a safe future for ourselves, our children and for all people whose lives have already been or will soon be made almost impossible because of the effects of climate change such as droughts, disease, floods or food shortages.
News / 8 March 2019
During the month of March, and as part of International Women's Day (March 8th) and World Water Day (March 22nd), the organizations that constitute GAGGA-Latin America, will lead a joint campaign called "We, women are water".
Event / 28 February 2019
This webinar will feature experiences from several grassroots initiatives and highlight how they fight for women's improved access to and control over land and other natural resources and to scale up women's land rights.
News / 27 February 2019
On Tuesday 26 February Both ENDS was surprised by a very special visit: the Dutch Postcode Lottery stopped by to tell us that Both ENDS has been chosen as a beneficiary and has been allocated an annual donation of €500,000 for the coming five years! This is great news for us, as we can now expand our plans and take them to another level. Our director Danielle Hirsch explains.
Press release / 12 February 2019
Amsterdam, 12 February 2019 - Fossil fuel giant Royal Dutch Shell is facing legal action from environmental and human rights organisations if it fails to align its growth plans with global climate goals aimed at averting catastrophic global warming.