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Climate policy must reward households

29 December 2018

Climate policy must reward households

Last week saw the presentation of the Climate Accord. The SP isn't happy with the result. We want to leave a clean earth to our children, but that can only be achieved if the major polluters are tackled. This government instead repeatedly takes the side of the multinationals rather than the people. It's unacceptable that energy bills continue to rise while big polluters such as Shell are protected. We want to see lower energy bills and we want to see major corporations paying their fair share.

What the SP has warned of since the start of the negotiations has become reality: the Climate Accord is unjust. Shell and other big polluters have the say, while households have to pay. Calculations by the trade union federation - the FNV - and the environmental movement show that the accord will cost households €1.5 billion a year, while the biggest polluters will receive €450 million in subsidies. Once again the government has put the interests of Shell and other multinationals before those of society as a whole. The SP proposes a just alternative which will mean that households can benefit from climate policy.

At the climate summit in Warsaw in 2015 Canada was still being named 'fossil of the year', standing as it did in the top 10 producers of coal, gas and oil. Now, however, the United States' northern neighbour has imposed a CO2 tax on major polluters, a tax which has greatly reduced emissions, as well as producing significant revenue, 90% of which is returned to households. This benefits people on low and average incomes, and does this as an aspect of climate policy. Although many people think that when industries are taxed households will still have to pay via higher product prices, Canada proves that this need not be the case. This could and must happen in the Netherlands as well. We fully support the climate goals, but firmly reject unjust interpretations of what this must entail.

For the SP Climate Justice is the only possibility. The hard right parties, the PVV and the FvD, reject climate policies in their entirety, including just and fair climate policies from which people benefit. In reality this means that these parties would hand big polluters such as Shell a carte blanche to continue their business as usual polluting, despite the fact that research has shown that environmental pollution costs the Netherlands tens of billions a year, causes illness and shortens lifespans. Doing nothing is not only not cheaper, it deprives many people of years of health and life.

The SP believes that climate policy can create a more just society and enable us to gain control of our energy supply. We need no longer be dependent on the big polluters who cause so much damage to our health as well as provoking the earthquakes in Groningen. Citizens can determine for themselves what is affordable and safe energy. We need a green and social revolution. The SP, unlike the government and the hard right parties, doesn't serve the interests of the polluters but those of the people who are now feeling the pinch as a result of the present climate policy. The SP wants to fight against pollution, and for a just alternative to the present policy.

Want to know more? Read Climate justice: What precisely is involved?

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