Activists ground private jets at Schiphol

More than 500 activists from Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace Netherlands have shut down air traffic with private planes to and from Schiphol since 12:40 PM. Activists cycle on the terrain where private jets are parked and block the planes. It concerns people who are concerned about the climate crisis and local residents who live in the noise of Schiphol.

‘It is not without reason that we have been campaigning for years to stop the enormous pollution of Schiphol. Schiphol should actually shrink, but they are still building a new terminal and the rich are increasingly taking a private jet here: the most polluting way of flying. It’s typical of aviation, which doesn’t seem to see that it’s putting people at risk by fueling the climate crisis. That has to stop. We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short flights and private jets,’ says Dewi Zloch of Greenpeace Netherlands.

Private planes fly to and from Schiphol from their own runway and special General Aviation Terminal at Schiphol East. The activists gathered this morning in the adjacent Amsterdamse Bos with banners and flags with texts such as ‘SOS for the climate’ and ‘Flights are no longer possible’. Another group arrived at the airport at the same time from the other side with bicycles. The activists plan to block air traffic at the private jet terminal for as long as possible.

Tessel Hofstede of Extinction Rebellion says: ‘The exceptions made for Schiphol and for private flights show exactly what the problem is in tackling the climate crisis. Schiphol is one of the largest polluters in the Netherlands, while almost half of the Dutch never fly. The rich ‘jet set’ ensures the most flights and the most CO2 emissions, without being put in their way. They can just continue to cause huge emissions, while those with little money are suffering the greatest consequences of the climate crisis. That is unjust and unacceptable. Aviation must also comply with the Paris climate agreements.’

The cabinet has decided that Schiphol must shrink to a maximum of 440,000 flights per year, but private jets are not included in this. Recent research by CE Delft showed that more private flights were made to and from Schiphol this year than in 2019. “In the meantime, it is becoming increasingly clear that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced much faster, the UN also says. What is happening at Schiphol is not at all in line with this, a sharp contraction of aviation is inevitable. If the government and Schiphol do not take responsibility, then we will have to take action ourselves to stop the pollution,” said Zloch and Hofstede.

The action takes place in the weekend before the international climate summit (COP27) that will take place in Egypt over the next two weeks. There, world leaders talk about tackling the climate crisis, but pollution from aviation is not even on the agenda there. Greenpeace Netherlands and Extinction Rebellion want that to change.

This morning there was also a demonstration in Schiphol Plaza, organized by Operation Aviation and supported by dozens of organisations, which also called for a reduction in aviation.

Source XR

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