Greenpeace to fight KLM state aid in court; Says it worsens climate crisis

Greenpeace is going to court to demand that the state aid to KLM be reversed, saying it is pushing the world even deeper into the climate crisis. According to the environmental organization, the billions of euros the government is giving the Dutch airline to help get it through the economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch government is giving KLM 3.4 billion euros in aid to help it through the coronavirus crisis, because the airline is considered crucial to the Dutch economy. In return, KLM agreed to implement pay cuts, a cost-reducing reorganization, and fewer night flights. Environmental organizations were immediately critical that the government did not add climate measures to the conditions for aid.

“The state aid plunges us deeper into the climate crisis and that is contrary to the duty of care that the Dutch government has for its citizens,” Greenpeace spokesperson Dewi Zloch said to NOS. She referred to the so-called Urgenda Ruling, in which the Supreme Court obliged the Dutch government to reduce CO2 emissions.

Greenpeace wants the government to impose a limit on KLM’s CO2 emissions. And for this limit to be lowered every year. The environmental organization believes this is the only way KLM will become more sustainable – by force. Greenpeace also wants short-haul flights within Europe to be scrapped. “There is really no need to fly multiple planes to Brussels or Paris every day,” Zloch said to NOS.

The government has until October 1 to respond to these demands.