Environmental organization Greenpeace will organize a “protest-festival” at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport around the 14th of December to demonstrate against the climate impact of aviation. As reported by NL Times, the idea won a public vote held online by the organization.
“When it comes to how we are going to stop the climate crisis, Schiphol remains awfully quiet,” Greenpeace’s campaign leader Dewi Zloch said to Dutch newspaper Het Parool. This is why the group is going to “transform the airport into a festival site for at least a weekend.” As for what the program of the “protestival” will be, the environmental organization remains vague, “so as not to make Schiphol wiser.” What is certain is that there will be food, drinks and “hopefully the possibility to stay overnight.”
“All our actions are safe and peaceful. [...] We don’t want to hinder travelers, but address Schiphol’s impact on the environment,” added Zloch.
The future of Schiphol is a hot topic in The Netherlands. In 2008, the airport reached an agreement with local residents and other institutional bodies on a maximum of 500,000 air transport movements until November 2020. That limit was reached in 2018.
The issue of whether the airport should be allowed to grow further splits Dutch public opinion. According to a survey commissioned by environmental nonprofit Mileudefensie, 35% of Dutch think Schiphol should grow, 34% think it should neither grow nor shrink, 24% think it should shrink and 7% have no opinion on the matter.
“While many sectors are looking to reduce C02 emissions, aviation is thinking of growing further,” said Zloch to Dutch newspaper AD.
“We are working towards being completely emissions-free by 2030,” commented a spokesperson from Schiphol. This only means the emissions of the airport’s buildings and terminals will be compensated, not the ones produced by planes taking off and landing.
As for the festival organized by Greenpeace, the airport responded that “they will find a nice place for it.”
Direct emissions from aviation account for roughly 3% of European Union’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Despite notable improvements (today, a plane consumes way less jet fuel than 30 years ago on average), the sector’s negative environmental impact is expected to grow exponentially over the next 30 years due to increased demand.
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