Council urges Port of Amsterdam to stop importing blood coal
On Thursday, 12 October, the Amsterdam city council adopted a motion to ban coal import from Colombia to the port of Amsterdam.
Coal mining in Colombia is wrought with human rights violations. In April 2023, Colombian victims of forced displacement in Cesar filed a complaint against European energy multinationals that have used, or still use, Colombian coal for energy production. The complaint, supported by SOMO and PAX, was filed at the National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines in The Hague.
Besides energy companies RWE, Uniper, Vattenfall, Engie, the complaint also targets the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where the coal has been shipped. The complainants state that the energy companies and ports have known about the violations for years but have failed to effectively contribute to a solution, as international standards for Responsible Business Conduct require. The complaint received considerable attention in Dutch(opens in new window) and international(opens in new window) media.
The council also adopted motions to urge the Amsterdam Port Authority to contribute to redressing human rights violations in Colombia due to coal mining, and to bring forward its plan to completely phase out coal by 2030.
Apart from the complaint, recent actions by Kappen met Kolen and Extinction Rebellion NL helped get the issue on the city council’s agenda.
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