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Greenpeace asks Dutch court to stop KLM bailout

Environmental organization Greenpeace asked Dutch court to halt the bailout package for KLM Royal Dutch airlines, arguing that the government has failed to ensure more sustainability. This is not the first bout between Greenpeace and Dutch airlines.

On November 18, 2020, the environmental organization Greenpeace asked a court in the Hague to block $4 billion (€3.4 billion) state-guaranteed loans intended to keep KLM flying through the coronavirus crisis.

“Climate change is dangerous and it is happening now,” Greenpeace lawyer said at the district court of the Hague. “The government has missed the chance to deal with pollution caused by aviation now,” Reuters reported.

The terms for KLM to access rescue funds include new environmental and noise pollution goals which were set by the Dutch government. The terms state that KLM needs to cut its greenhouse emission in half by 2030.

However, Greenpeace says that such cuts are not enough since the total number of passengers are expected to increase.

Meanwhile, the Dutch government is sure that conditions meet international aviation agreements. Besides, the government is concerned that the airline would risk bankruptcy with stricter climate demands. 

“Stricter climate demands will mean significantly higher costs and a disadvantage to competitors,” Karlijn Teuben, a lawyer representing a Dutch state, said.

Greenpeace activists seek climate action

This is not the first time an environmental organization is showing activism against the KLM.

On May 14, 2020, a group of Greenpeace activists occupied Schiphol runway to demand CO2 cut, short-haul flight replacement by trains and fewer flights. 

“KLM emits more CO2 than the largest coal-fired power station in the Netherlands,” Greenpeace said on its website. 

In December, 2019, Greenpeace organized a “protestival” which took place at the Schiphol airport. The 24-hour event, along with the Extinction Rebellion movement, was staged to seek a climate action in the aviation industry.

Greenpeace said that the Schiphol airport was the largest tax-free gas station in the Netherlands.

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