Hundreds of climate activists breached a runway on Saturday at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to try to stop private jets from taking off, in the latest demonstration by protesters aimed at drawing attention to the climate crisis.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Greenpeace Netherlands stated“more than 500” Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion activists were at the airport, 1 of Europe’s biggest, on Saturday afternoon, a press release. A spokesperson for the Schiphol security forces could not confirm that figure.
Robert Kapel acknowledged it was a “big scale” demonstration. Still, he said air traffic was unaffected as the runway was exclusively used for private jets and no flights are scheduled until late Saturday night.
“This morning activists gathered in the forest nearby, carrying flags and banners with slogans such as ‘SOS for the climate’ and ‘Fly no more.’ At the same time another group reached the airport from the opposite direction with bicycles,” Greenpeace told.
- Greenpeace says Schiphol is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12bn kilograms annually.
Images from Greenpeace show groups of dozens of demonstrators sitting down on the tarmac by multiple aircraft on the runway. Further photos show demonstrations inside the terminal.
Greenpeace is an independent international campaigning network founded in Canada in 1971. Greenpeace uses non-violent creative action to pave the way toward a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten our environment.
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About 3 hours after the protest started, border police started arresting activists, some of whom were dragged to waiting buses after passively resisting arrest, AFP reported. More than a hundred arrests “and counting” have been made so far, Kapel told.
Greenpeace, Schiphol’s new CEO
Responding to the protest, Schiphol stated it aimed to become an emissions-free airport by 2030 and it supported targets for the aviation industry to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
On Friday, in a statement to an open letter from Greenpeace, Schiphol’s new CEO, Ruud Sondag, conceded that change needed to happen faster.
The Dutch government declared plans in June to cap annual passenger numbers at the airport at 440,000, about 11% below 2019 levels, citing air pollution and climate concerns.
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