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‘4 years of climate change denial’: Dutch environmental groups react to far-right election swing

By Ian Smith

The far-right party PVV’s election victory has raised fears over how it could impact the country’s climate ambitions.

Environmental groups have expressed shock and promised climate action in response to Dutch election results. Wednesday night saw the historic victory of the far right Party for Freedom (PVV).

The party, led by Geert Wilders, is projected to win 37 seats in the 150 seat Dutch parliament, putting it in the driver’s seat to form a new government.

“We are shocked,” Extinction Rebellion Netherlands says. “This outcome will likely mean a rollback of climate measures, new fossil investments, exclusion of marginalised groups, and more.”

Friends of the Earth Netherlands spelled out what PVV’s rule could mean for Dutch society: “A Wilders government will mean four years of climate change denial, exclusion and a breakdown of the rule of law.”

What is the PVV’s position on climate change?

Environmentalists’ concerns are based on the PVV manifesto.

It declares: “We have been made to fear climate change for decades… We must stop being afraid.”

“The climate is always changing, for centuries,” the document goes on to say. “When conditions change we adapt. We do this through sensible water management, by raising dykes when necessary and by making room for the river. But we stop the hysterical reduction of CO2, with which, as a small country, we wrongly think we can “save” the climate.”

The manifesto also calls for more oil and gas extraction from the North Sea and keeping coal and gas power stations open.

Natuur & Milieu, a Dutch environmental organisation, believes politicians need to be honest about the challenges the Netherlands face because of the climate crisis.