Ruling party member's claims that global warming is a conspiracy leave other Dutch politicians flabbergasted

Frits Paymans, a VVD State member in Zuid-Holland, thinks that global warming is not caused by humans and that it is a conspiracy from which large multinationals benefit greatly, he said to Omroep West. His statements were received with shocked disbelief from other members of his party.

"The earth hasn't warmed over the past 20 years", Paymans said to the broadcaster. He called global warming a hype. "Climate change has always been here. The climate is never stable. It is the sum of all weather conditions."

Countless scientists who think otherwise will not convince Paymans. "Like with all other conspiracy theories, it can be orchestrated", he said.

Paymans thinks that multinational companies may be behind this conspiracy. "Shell and Heineken aren't becoming greener for nothing, because that's where the subsidies are."

According to Omroep West, Paymans is not the only VVD member who doesn't believe in global warming. action leader Tiemen Brill also doesn't rule a climate conspiracy. "It might just be possible."

Other VVD members reacted with shocked disbelief. Remco Dijkstra, climate spokesperson for the VVD in parliament, was quick to say that the VVD supports the climate goals set in the Paris agreement. "We are working hard to reach the EU targets and we are taking our responsibility", he said to AD. 

"Unbelievable this view of my Zuid-Holland fellow party member", VVD faction leader in parliament Frans Weisglas said on Twitter. "Also bad for the formation." The VVD is negotiating forming a new government with the CDA, D66 and green party GroenLinks.

VVD parliamentarian Monique van der Bijl called Paymans' statements 'bizarre' on Twitter. "VVD Den Haag is 100% committed to battling climate change", she tweeted. 

Environment State Secretary Sharon Dijksma ridiculed the statement on Twitter. "OMG. It's amazing. It's true", she tweeted with a 'winky face'. She added the hashtag #aluhoedjes2.0 - referring to tinfoil caps. The tweet also mimics the way U.S. president Donald Trump speaks.