The Netherlands must close all its coal-fired power stations in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions. This is the recommendation of 64 professors in an open letter to the newspaper Trouw, on the initiative of Rotterdam-based Professor Jan Rotmans.

Fellow signatories include Josee van Eijndhoven (former president of the Executive Board at EUR). The 64 professors wrote their letter in the run up to the Climate Summit: in a week’s time, the countries of the United Nations will be descending on Paris to discuss climate issues. The summit is set to go ahead despite the recent attacks in the city.

The Netherlands is not doing enough to tackle global warming, according to the professors. Closing the coal-fired power stations would be a good step which also reflects a worldwide trend. “The end of the coal age is inevitable and closing all the coal-fired power stations marks that transition.”

'Close them tomorrow'

The power stations could be closed tomorrow, say the professors. That would reduce environmental pollution considerably. The coal-fired power stations are harmful to health because they also emit fine particles. Air pollution is said to be responsible for four thousand premature deaths in Europe every year.

According to researchers, the transition to more sustainable energy is affordable. A family’s energy bill would increase by around ten euros. They call on the cabinet and the Lower House to close all coal-fired power stations by 2020.

Some signatories are specialists in environmental science, wind energy or sustainable development, but even economists and one leisure scientist have added their signatures.

This weekend, the managing director of the KNMI claimed that the climate is subject to ‘a kind of amber warning’. The meteorological institute’s website has a list of questions and answers about global warming.

The complete list of professors who signed the letter: