NGOs call on Rotterdam Harbour to end coal shipments

Europe Beyond Coal groups and other NGOs have called on the Mayor of Rotterdam, Mr Ahmed Aboutaleb; the CEO of Rotterdam Port, Mr Allard Castelein; and the Rotterdam City Council, to phase-out coal transshipments.

In November last year, the city council accepted a motion that asks the Mayor and Aldermen to plan the coal phase out in Rotterdam harbour at a speed that respects the United Nations Paris Climate Agreement. However, there has been no visible movement since then. On February 21 and 22 the city council will convene again.

With our letter we strongly encourage the city council of Rotterdam to continue with its efforts to secure a phase out of coal transshipments, and we urge the Mayor, Aldermen and harbour CEO to work with the city council to make this happen. Ending coal shipments in Rotterdam will accelerate the end of coal use in Europe and in Germany in particular and is a logical next step, following the Dutch government decision to phase out coal power in the Netherlands by 2030. It will reduce levels of damaging coal dust and air pollutants from the supply chain through to the burning of the coal, and will improve health and climate outcomes for all.

“Allard Castelein, CEO of Rotterdam port, likes to proclaim that his port embraces the United Nations Paris agreement, and that companies who are not Paris-proof have no future. Now this is his litmus test. His words are only meaningful when he acts on them and phases out coal.” – Willem Wiskerke, Greenpeace Netherlands.

“A recent study again confirmed that people in Germany overwhelmingly want a coal phase-out, but the incoming government is dragging its feet. The end of coal is coming, and taking decisive steps to ending the mining, shipment, and burning of coal is essential for a successful transition to a low-carbon future. A coal phase-out is inevitable to reach the goals of the Paris agreement, and ending coal transshipments in the Port of Rotterdam will be an important signal to Germany to pick up speed on the way to its own coal-free future.” – Stefanie Langkamp, Campaign Director, Climate Alliance Germany.

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