Climate activists block private jets at Amsterdam’s main airport

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Hundreds of environmental activists wearing white overalls stormed an area holding private jets at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and stopped aircraft from leaving for hours by sitting in front of their wheels on Saturday.

Military police moved in and were seen taking dozens of the protesters away in buses. More than 100 activists were arrested, national broadcaster NOS reported.

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The protest was part of a day of demonstrations in and around the air hub organized by Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion in the build-up to the COP27 climate talks in Egypt.

No delays to commercial flights were reported.

“We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and private jets,” Greenpeace Netherlands campaign leader Dewi Zloch said.

The environmental group says Schiphol is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12 billion kilograms annually.

Hundreds of other demonstrators in and around the airport’s main hall carried signs saying “Restrict Aviation” and “More Trains.”

Responding to the protest, Schiphol said it aims to become an emissions-free airport by 2030 and supports targets for the aviation industry to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Military police tasked with airport security said in a statement they had “made a number of detentions of persons who were on airport property without being allowed.”

The Dutch government announced plans in June for a cap on annual passengers at the airport at 440,000, around 11 percent below 2019 levels, citing air pollution and climate concerns.

Transportation Minister Mark Harbers told parliament last month his office could not control growing private jet traffic, and the government is considering whether to include the issue in its climate policy.

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