Netherlands will only be able to achieve its ambitious climate objectives if other EU countries also contribute. “It is only possible if the surrounding countries are also ambitious, otherwise we will lose jobs. Then we won’t do it “, said Prime Minister Rutte at the EU summit in Sibiu in Romania.

The heads of government of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg have called on their counterparts to make the fight against global warming a cornerstone of EU policy for the next five years. The eight countries want Europe to be climate neutral by 2050.

A lot has to be done to get zero greenhouse gas emissions like CO2 in thirty years. At a previous summit in March it already appeared that the EU countries were divided. Germany is not hooked up like that. Poland “horrifies” for fear of massive job losses for climate neutrality in 2050, according to an EU diplomat. Estonia, for example, also sees that its diesel trains do not sit well.

In the wake of French President Macron, the Netherlands is a strong proponent of a Europe that is strong on climate, also because it can create jobs. In the final declaration of the summit in Sibiu, the 27 leaders promise to tackle the fight against climate change together, but they do not set concrete goals.

The mayor did not permit a demonstration of young climate activists by Sibiu. Some leaders, including Rutte, Macron and the prime ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg, were willing to listen to their request for more ambition. The Prime Minister of Latvia joined the company. Macron told the Flemish ‘climate piper’ Anuna de Wever that there would be a compromise that would allow Germany and other countries to join. “That’s always the case in the EU.” Rutte stood by and nodded in agreement.

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