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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Demands by Activists Prompt the Netherlands to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies

By Saurav Sarkar

A sustained protest campaign by environmental activists has led the Dutch government to commit to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. The activists stopped traffic on a major highway for nearly a month, said “Democracy Now!”

“[We] achieved a transformation… of Dutch society, with three-quarters of the people now wanting a phaseout of fossil fuel subsidies and even a third of the people wanting an immediate stop on fossil fuel subsidies. And that is the Extinction Rebellion demand. So, a big win,” said Lucas Winnips of Extinction Rebellion to “Democracy Now!”.

Extinction Rebellion is known as one of the most militant climate change groups, frequently employing disruptive and sometimes controversial tactics. Winnips said that more than 9,000 arrests were made in the course of the campaign.

The Dutch government subsidizes the fossil fuel industry to an amount equaling 4 percent of the country’s GDP, or about $42 billion according to the advocacy group Oil Change International. Internationally, fossil fuel subsidies increased to $7 trillion in 2022, according to statistics from the International Monetary Fund.

Saurav Sarkar is a freelance writer and editor who covers political activism and labor movements. They live in Long Island, New York, and have also lived in New York City, New Delhi, London, and Washington, D.C. Follow them on Twitter @sauravthewriter and at

from the Globetrotter News Service

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