Billions of euros a year in support for fossil exports underscores importance of Glasgow Declaration
Amsterdam, 29 August 2022 - A recent study by Both ENDS shows that, in the past decade, the Dutch government has provided on average a billion euros a year in insurance for fossil energy projects. At the end of last year, together with 33 other countries, the Netherlands agreed to stop providing this support by the end of 2022. Both ENDS calls on the government to formulate a resolute policy that leaves no room for exemptions that contribute to global warming by more than 1.5 degrees.
The government provides various kinds of support for Dutch companies doing business abroad. One of its main instruments is export credit insurance, with which the government – through Atradius DSB – insures companies against payment default.
"In the past decade, the government has provided 11.4 billion euros in support for fossil energy projects," says Niels Hazekamp of Both ENDS. "That is half of the total export support and it mainly benefitted the offshore sector. This is completely against internationally agreed climate agreements." Up to 2019, export support for renewable energy projects was almost zero. While the Both ENDS report shows that support for renewable energy has increased substantially since then, according to Hazekamp it is too early to speak of a definite trend.
The problem is not restricted to the Netherlands: in 2019 and 2020, the governments of the G20 countries provided 39 billion euros in support for fossil energy projects compared to only three billion euros for renewable energy. The continued support for fossil projects is jeopardising our climate goals and discouraging companies from investing in renewable energy projects.
The government must honour the Glasgow Pact
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021, 34 countries – including the Netherlands – pledged to stop providing government support for fossil projects abroad by the end of 2022. The agreements reached in Glasgow are intended to ensure that support for polluting fossil projects as good as stops as of the end of December 2022. "Unfortunately the Netherlands is threatening to permit exemptions for fossil projects under the guise of energy security," says Hazekamp. "The international climate agreements made in Paris do not provide scope for such exemptions; no new oil and gas reserves may be opened up and the majority of the existing reserves must be closed down. Especially now that we are in the middle of a gas crisis, we have to take serious steps to speed up the energy transition."
The Ministry of Finance is currently holding an open consultation on implementation of the Glasgow Pact. "The text of the consultation gives the impression that a lot is still open to negotiation and even hints at a transition period of a year," says Hazekamp. "Yet it is very clear: our government has to stop providing export support for fossil projects by the end of the year."
For the media:
Contact: Niels Hazekamp : firstname.lastname@example.org / 06 8190 6281
Also see the petition by De Goede Zaak which calls on the government to stop supporting fossil projects
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UNFCCC COP 26 side event ‘Aligning export finance with the Paris Agreement: high time to phase out fossil fuels’
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