Reclaim our Air
The air we breathe bears the toxic scars of port activities, affecting the health of every nearby resident. We demand accountability, transparency, and restitution from those responsible. We demand solid measures to monitor toxic emissions, research into health risks, and compensation for the people of Rotterdam to rectify health damages and invest in local green infrastructure.
Our demands: Clean up our City
- We demand that companies take social & economic responsibilities for the harmful polluting activities.
- We demand measuring, monitoring and transparent public reporting of all toxic substances emitted in the harbour and scientific investigation of health risks due to air pollution.
BEHIND SMOKE SCREENS: The harbour operations are deadly harmful to our healths
- Harmful Effects of Port Activities on Health. Significant damage to the health of Rotterdam’s residents is caused by port activities. Coal-fired power plants and petrochemical companies are particularly responsible for pollution. The production of oil and plastic releases various toxic substances. According to the European Environment Agency, the five largest companies in the port cause an annual health damage of 2.7 billion euros to the local population (calculated in terms of lost years of life). (Source: FTM)
- Widespread Pollution of Water, Soil, and Air. Water, soil, and air are extensively polluted in Rotterdam. Since 2010, there hasn’t been much improvement in air quality; the port claims that the low-hanging fruit has already been addressed. (Source: FTM) However, air pollution remains an invisible killer, leading to damage to our lungs, heart, and brain. (Source: The Conversation)
- Impact of Air Pollution In the Netherlands, 12,000 people die each year due to air pollution (caused in part by the fossil industry and the use of fossil fuels). The Lung Fund raises an alarm for clean air. (Source: Longfonds)
- Pollution and Cancer Connection. Exposure to pollution causes 10% of all cancer cases in Europe. (Source: European Environment Agency)
Underestimation of Health Risks and Lack of Awareness. Many toxic substances go unmeasured, and health risks (air pollution/cancer) are systematically underestimated. There is insufficient awareness of the health impact. With greater awareness, the pressure for intervention would be much greater. (Source: FTM)
- Industrial Air Pollution’s Effect on Babies. Research conducted in Zeeland, an industrial area with minimal road traffic, revealed that babies born to mothers exposed to industrial air pollution in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen are on average 75 grams lighter. This is comparable to babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. (Source: FTM)
- Growing Health and Climate Risks Failure to take action now will lead to increased and more significant health damage due to climate risks such as heat, diseases, and flooding. The WHO considers climate disruption the greatest threat to our health in this century. (Source: World Health Organization)
1. Reclaim Our Future
Time is not on our side. We demand the end of the Fossil Port by 2030. The Netherlands must awaken to the climate crisis and strive for climate neutrality within this decade to keep global warming within the 1.5-degree Celsius limit. This future is incompatible with the continuation of fossil port activities. The Port must chart a new course towards transparency, ceasing all fossil activities, and focusing on real solutions that reduce CO2 emissions.
2. Reclaim Our Jobs
We demand security and prosperity for all port workers. Green jobs must be the bedrock of our new economy. Companies that have profited from environmental destruction must bear the financial burden of retraining employees and creating new, sustainable job opportunities. This is the path to a just transition, ensuring protection and new prospects for workers in the green sector.
3. Reclaim Our Air
The air we breathe bears the toxic scars of port activities, affecting the health of every Rotterdam resident. We demand accountability, transparency, and restitution from those responsible. We demand solid measures to monitor toxic emissions, research into health risks, and compensation for the people of Rotterdam to rectify health damages and invest in local green infrastructure.
4. Reclaim Our Voice
The shareholders of the Port Authority must honor their societal duty to protect citizens’ health and combat climate change. The Port must abandon its unattainable green growth strategy, adjust its statutes to consider public interests, democratize decision-making processes and let citizen decide for their future. We reclaim the Port for the People of Rotterdam.