AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Hundreds of white-robed environmental activists stormed an area of private jets at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, stopping planes from departing for hours by sitting at their wheels on Saturday.
Military police moved in and were seen taking dozens of protesters on buses. National Radio reported that more than 100 activists were arrested.
The protest was part of a day of demonstrations in and around the air hub organized by Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion in preparation for the COP27 climate talks in Egypt.
There were no reports of any delays in commercial flights.
“We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on short non-essential flights and private planes,” said Dewey Zloch, leader of the Dutch Greenpeace campaign.
The environmental group says Schiphol is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the Netherlands, emitting 12 billion kilograms annually.
Hundreds of protesters in and around the airport’s main hall carried signs reading “Fly restricted” and “More trains”.
In response to the protest, Schiphol said it aims to become a zero-emissions airport by 2030 and supports the airline industry’s goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The military police in charge of airport security said in a statement that they had “made a number of arrests of people who were on the airport’s property without allowing them to do so.”
The Dutch government in June announced plans to cap the number of passengers at the airport at 440,000, about 11% below 2019 levels, citing concerns about air and climate pollution.
Transportation Secretary Mark Harpers told Parliament last month that his office could not control the rise in private jet traffic and that the government was considering whether to include the issue in its climate policy.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling) Editing by Toby Chopra, Helen Popper and Andrew Heavens
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