Our Demands

We demand from the Dutch government:

1. TELL THE TRUTH about the climate and ecological crisis that threatens our existence and communicate the urgency for change.

We are facing an unprecedented global emergency of our own making. Human activities already warmed the earth’s atmosphere by 1.1°C and are pushing the biosphere towards a 6th mass extinction, putting a million species of plants and animals at risk. Sea level rise, wildfires, heatwaves, extreme storms and droughts are threatening communities throughout the world, including by impacting health, food production and drinking water. There is increasing concern over triggering tipping points leading to chain reactions of irreversible changes. Insufficient greenhouse gas reduction targets put us on a catastrophic course for at least 3°C of warming.For decades, climate scientists, activists and politicians tried their best to maintain a hopeful narrative about the climate crisis and ecosystem breakdown. But far from encouraging action, positive stories gave us all a false sense of time and safety. Only if we confront the crisis in its full severity will we be able to mobilize at scale.

It is the duty of the Government to protect its citizens and thus be honest about the existential threats they are facing. The Government must declare a climate and ecological emergency and communicate the urgency for change. In doing so, it must recognize that the environmental crisis has the highest priority and requires fundamental changes.

 

2. ACT NOW to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 in a just and fair manner.

The climate crisis already has destructive impacts on nature and communities right now, and this will worsen with each additional tenth of a degree. In the meantime, human activities are destroying the ecosystems we rely on. There used to be time for a smooth transition but after decades of inaction, this opportunity is lost. We have a duty towards future generations and communities around the world to prevent avoidable suffering by immediately reducing carbon emissions and halting the deterioration of nature.The Dutch government is far from answering adequately to this crisis. It consistently failed to curb CO2 emissions and reach greenhouse gas emissions targets. Facing the climate and ecological emergency requires quick and substantial changes in all domains of our social and economic system. Aiming for net 0 emissions by 2025 is challenging but we must focus on what is necessary to keep Dutch citizens and communities around the world safe. The atmosphere does not negotiate, we neither.

The transition towards a sustainable economy should prioritize the interests of the most vulnerable people in the Netherlands and throughout the world. The climate and ecological crisis disproportionately impact impoverished and marginalized communities. Because of its historical responsibility in greenhouse gas emissions and environmental damage, as well as its prosperity and technological capabilities, the Netherlands must take the lead on the transition and minimize environmental injustices.

 

3. LET CITIZENS DECIDE by establishing a Citizen’s Assembly which takes the lead on climate and ecological justice.

Citizens’ Assemblies are institutions, in which randomly selected citizens representing a cross section of society deliberate on public policies. Members hear balanced information from experts and stakeholders, discuss and deliberate openly in small facilitated groups, and finally vote on policy recommendations.This emergency is too vast and complex to entrust it to a Government that has failed us for many decades. Lobbied by powerful corporations and dependent on favourable media coverage, members of Parliament and Cabinet are unable or unwilling to make the difficult laws we need for a just and fast transition.

A Citizens’ Assembly can break the deadlock. It will empower citizens to take the lead and politicians to follow with less fear of political backlash. It will give a voice to those marginalised from political decision making and thus ensure that the burdens of the crisis are distributed fairly. Informed by balanced scientific advice and free from political power games, members of the Assembly can make rational decisions in the common interest of society.

Citizens’ Assemblies are not a new idea. They have been used in Ireland, Canada, Poland, Belgium, and other countries to make ambitious policies. Even in the Netherlands, political parties experimented with this institution.

Further Resources on Citizens’ Assemblies

Articles

Podcasts

Books

Webpages and organisations

 

Flyer about our demands