The crisis is now!
Issues are piling up in the Netherlands, and the global climate crisis is taking increasingly extreme forms. Problems related to climate, housing policy, biodiversity, poverty, pollution, and racism are escalating. The failed policies of the Rutte cabinets have exacerbated these crises. We have an opportunity NOW to bring a new political wind to the Netherlands. That’s why the Climate Crisis Coalition, a collaboration of nine civil and environmental organizations, is organizing the March for Climate and Justice. It will take place in Amsterdam on Sunday, November 12, ten days before the crucial Second Chamber elections.
In recent years, politics has repeatedly favored the interests of major polluting companies over those of citizens, civil servants, healthcare workers, and small and medium-sized businesses. A politics that prioritizes corporate profit over people’s well-being also plunges us into social insecurity. Starters can no longer afford homes. Social housing has been stripped down. Major cuts in healthcare and education lead to waiting lists and a deterioration of services. Workers’ wages barely keep up with inflation. Due to inhumane policies, refugees in Ter Apel sleep on the streets. Those affected in Groningen and the parents in the childcare allowance scandal are still not compensated. Nature is also suffering: Nitrogen emissions from companies like Tata, Schiphol, and the bio-industry threaten vulnerable natural areas. The air is polluted in many places, and multinational corporations discharge toxic substances into our surface water.
Each of these crises is exacerbated by the escalating climate crisis. That’s why the upcoming Second Chamber elections are so important. This is the moment for Dutch voters to show the politicians that there is no time to waste in addressing the climate crisis in a just manner. This means that this time, the bill should not be paid by ordinary people but by the perpetrators of this crisis: the major polluting companies. The Climate Crisis Coalition, which has mobilized tens of thousands of participants in previous climate marches, expects the most powerful march ever on Sunday, November 12!
The world is on fire.
“This summer, too, was dominated by reports of extreme drought, record-breaking heat, large wildfires, and excessive rainfall,” says Hilde Stroot, climate expert at Oxfam Novib. “Almost everyone knows someone who has experienced extreme weather during the summer. Recent climate reports don’t lie: the climate is changing much faster than expected. The crisis is now, and it will get much worse if we don’t take action.”
“Failing government policies and major polluting companies are the main culprits behind these alarming developments. To give you an idea: only 100 companies are responsible for about 71% of all global CO2 emissions. And the richest 1% is responsible for 50% of emissions. The price of dangerous climate change is mostly paid by those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis. Here in the Netherlands, but especially elsewhere in the world. Urgent, drastic, and large-scale measures are needed. Despite the fact that the climate crisis also affects the Netherlands, Dutch climate measures still fall far short of meeting their own promises,” Stroot adds.
Peer de Rijk, campaigner for Milieudefensie, echoes Stroot’s words. “The world is on fire. The Netherlands is not helping to extinguish it but is adding fuel to the fire with €37.5 billion in fossil fuel subsidies. The government is thus financing the emissions of major polluting companies, while the money could be invested in addressing the climate crisis. For example, by accelerating the insulation of millions of homes annually.”
“The crisis is now,” emphasizes Renske Wienen, spokesperson for De Goede Zaak. “And the climate crisis exacerbates every other crisis we are currently facing: people become homeless, poverty worsens, and minorities are in an even more difficult position. We must join forces now and take to the streets together. The climate problem is not separate from the other crises plaguing our country and the world. They are symptoms of a politics that cannot let go of greed for power and money, even if it costs lives. With this march, we say: the era of selfishness is over.”
Everyone has the right to a safe environment, clean drinking water, sufficient and healthy food, and secure housing. In the Netherlands and beyond. It’s time for the new government to stand for a fairer and more effective climate policy. It needs to be faster, fairer, now!
The Climate Crisis Coalition calls on everyone to mark November 12 on their calendars and make their voices heard for a new, green, and social politics. We are the change!
About the March for Climate and Justice 2023
The March for Climate and Justice will take place on Sunday, November 12, in Amsterdam. The route we will take will be announced later. The Climate March is an initiative of the Climate Crisis Coalition, a collaboration of Oxfam Novib, Fridays For Future Nederland, Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, FNV, Fossielvrij NL, Milieudefensie, De Goede Zaak, and Transnational Institute.
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