‘Dutch government off the hook to set climate conditions on KLM bailout package’

Amsterdam, December 9, 2020 – The Dutch court ruled today that the Dutch government is not required to attach climate conditions to its bailout package for KLM. Filed by Greenpeace Netherlands, the lawsuit argued that this bailout conflicted with the duty of care of the Dutch state towards the population. The court referred to the international agreements for the aviation industry, but understood Greenpeace’s criticism that these existing climate goals are insufficient.

“Today’s verdict is a missed opportunity for our present and our future. It’s incredibly disappointing to have a government that actually uses state aid to enable KLM and other major polluters to continue wrecking our planet. This multibillion bailout could be a golden ticket to tackle multiple crises from the root, when if not now? The government should demand better performance from KLM now that we are bailing them out, like gradual carbon emissions reduction and better conditions for the company’s staff. The cabinet should listen to widely popular green recovery measures,” said Dewi Zloch, Climate and Energy expert at Greenpeace. 

Government still under pressure

“This verdict doesn’t take the pressure off the government to tackle the pollution caused by aviation. The current bailout package enables KLM to keep recklessly polluting while other companies, and our country, are under heavy scrutiny to reduce their carbon emissions. The Dutch commitment to the Paris Agreement is to decrease those emissions every year, which translates to industry meeting those targets as well. The aviation industry has to become more sustainable inevitably and we will continue to push for it. Now we are twice as motivated to take action,” Zloch said. “The number of flights should be significantly reduced for instance. KLM could start by scrapping all short-haul flights of under a thousand kilometers, like the multiple daily ones to Brussels or Paris. We need to significantly transform our transportation systems to address the climate impacts we are already facing,” Zloch concluded.

For more information, please contact:

Matthijs Kettelerij, press officer Greenpeace, 06-18512891

[email protected]

Newsreel and pictures

Verdict (In Dutch)