News / 19 May 2022

Response to government’s letter to parliament on implementation of the Glasgow Declaration

Both ENDS and 95 other organisations* today sent a letter to State Secretary for Finance Marnix van Rij and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher calling on them to implement the Glasgow Declaration in full. In this agreement, which the Netherlands and 33 other countries signed at the Glasgow climate conference, the signatory countries pledge to stop all public funding for fossil projects by the end of 2022.

The Dutch government is currently drawing up a concrete policy to implement the Glasgow Declaration and, on 7 April, sent a letter to parliament to report on its progress. We are taking this opportunity to urge the Netherlands and the other signatories to the Declaration to come up with an ambitious policy.

No room for delay and toning down

We are concerned that, under pressure from the large-scale recipients of government funding, too many exemptions will be built into the policy, such as a longer transition period or extensive compensation schemes. In our opinion, only projects that do not hamper achievement of the 1.5 degree goal agreed in Paris should be eligible for exemption. Options like "gas as transition fuel" only extend our dependence on fossil fuels and therefore offer no solution.

Comply with the Glasgow Declaration

In Glasgow, 34 countries (including the Netherlands) and five financial institutions pledged to stop public funding for fossil projects abroad by the end of 2022. This means that, as of 2023, Dutch companies can no longer count on financial support and guarantees for fossil projects. An important element of this support is export credit insurance, with which countries help companies to insure themselves against the payment risks associated with these kinds of projects.

Science has shown us the bitter need to phase out fossil fuels and it is crucial that governments stop supporting the fossil industry. To achieve that they must comply with the pledges they made in the Glasgow Declaration. We therefore urge the Netherlands not so seek ways of skirting around the restrictions imposed in the Declaration and also to encourage other countries to implement it in full.

Just transition

Furthermore it is important that the Netherlands makes a greater effort to increase funding for the transition to a sustainable economy, based on the 'just transition' principles so that developing countries also benefit. For example, by making funds available for small-scale solar energy projects.

*Together with our 95 partner organisations in the Netherlands and abroad, we sent a similar letter to the governments of a number of other countries that have signed the Declaration: Canada, Germany, El Salvador, France, Italy, New Zealand and Portugal

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