Dutch politicians and organizations react with mixed emotions to COP26 climate deal
Dutch politicians and members of environmental organizations met the climate deal world leaders reached at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow with skepticism. The two-week conference in Scotland ended Saturday evening, one day later than expected. Governments vowed to continue striving to prevent the earth from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 but critics argued that plan lacked decisive plans for action.
"The COP26 climate agreement is a step towards a climate neutral world. An incredible amount of work still needs to be done," Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted on Sunday. State secretary of climate Dilan Yesilgöz said the Netherlands has "made progress but needs a more ambitious and concrete final statement."
Partij voor de Dieren MP Christine Teunissen said the plan offered "vague promises and opporutnities for evasion." MPs Suzanne Kröger from GroenLinks and Joris Thijssen from the PvdA called the outcome of the COP26 deal in a joint blog "disappointing." The MPs said that the new coalition parties must take extra steps to reach the 2030 goal, if necessary.
Maarten van Aalst from the climate sector of the International Red Cross called the deal "too little too late." He said more should have been done in the six years since the climate summit in Paris. Yet, he acknowledged that steps in the right direction have been taken. "Everyone sees that the climate is changed and science is more aware than ever about the consequences."
"A decline in fossil fuel energy is needed to keep disastrous 1.5-degree goal and to prevent disastrous climate changes," Nine de Pater from the environmental organization Milieudefensiie said.
In the final phases of the summit, India switched from promising to "phase out" coal to "phase down" coal. India argued that rich countries have heavily contributed to environmental damage but are now blaming developing countries. "We made our effort to make a consensus that is reasonable for developing countries and climate justice," India's environmental minister Bhupender Yadav told Reuters. Yesilgöz said the Netherlands would have liked to see a stronger approach taken against coal.
Environmental network Friends of the Earth said the deal was "scandalous", according to NOS. "Just the words 1.5 degrees are meaningless if there is nothing in the agreement to live up to those words. COP26 will go down in history as a betrayal of southern countries; abandoned without money for the energy transition or adaption."