By our economics editors
06 dec 2023 om 10:20
Ten large energy and industrial companies in the Netherlands together receive an average of 8.8 billion euros in fossil subsidies annually, research shows. “An enormous amount that the Dutch government transfers annually to a select group of major polluters and their shareholders,” says Milieudefensie director Donald Pols.
Research agency Profundo discovered on behalf of Milieudefensie that the Dutch branch of Shell received the most fossil subsidies. The company received at least 2.1 billion euros in subsidies annually.
Chemical company Dow Benelux follows with at least 1.6 billion euros per year. And Yara Sluiskil, a fertilizer company, received 1.2 billion euros per year. These companies have made billions in profits in recent years, most of which benefited from the energy crisis.
According to Pols, these billions are “just the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to subsidies that worsen the climate crisis. Earlier this year it emerged that the Dutch government spends 40 to 46 billion euros annually on fossil subsidies.
Milieudefensie wants politicians to phase out fossil subsidies for companies, starting with the exemptions under energy tax and tax and excise duty regulations. “It is now up to the new House of Representatives to implement fair policy and therefore quickly put an end to fossil gifts for large-scale fossil consumers,” says Pols.
The outgoing cabinet already wanted to change this and promised to phase out fossil subsidies in the coming years. This includes the benefits for large companies that now pay little tax on their electricity.