Thousands of climate activists marched on Friday in Amsterdam’s southern business district to protest Dutch companies’ involvement in what marchers called an “investment in climate destruction”.
Carrying placards and shouting slogans, an estimated crowd of more than 10,000 walked a circular route through the Zuidas financial area, and AFP correspondent saw.
The affluent area is home to major banks, manufacturing and petroleum companies and other multinational industries and is seen as the most important business hub in Europe’s fifth-largest economy.
“The Zuidas is the financial heart of the Netherlands,” Greenpeace Netherlands director Marieke Vellekoop said.
“We are here to tell them to stop investing in nature destruction,” she told AFP.
Protesters were carrying placards saying: “We’re making a fist against polluters” and “Stop fossil violence” as they called on companies to halt subsidies to fossil fuel industries.
Climate change is a significant issue in the upcoming June 6 European elections, especially among younger voters, political observers said.
Marchers included members of Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and Milieudefensie – the group which won a major environmental case against multinational oil giant Shell three years ago.
Shell is currently appealing that ruling, while environmental groups are accusing it of not doing enough.
Milieudefensie was also targeting top Dutch bank ING – headquartered just outside Amsterdam – in new legal proceedings, accusing it of financing polluting organisations.
The bank announced in December that it was phasing out financing upstream oil and gas activities by 2040 and has pledged to substantially up financing in renewable energy.
Friday’s march followed one held in Amsterdam in November last year attended by tens of thousands of activists including Greta Thunberg.
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