Published On: Mon, Nov 23rd, 2015

COP21 alert – Caribbean part of Dutch Kingdom belongs to top 5 CO2 emissions per capita

oil refinery flaringIt is through the burning of fossil fuels that CO2 is released to the atmosphere, which is accompanied with ocean acidification and an increasing sea level. In the end, small island development states (SIDS) and coral reefs will pay the highest price for these developments. Indeed, small islands are unable to economically counterbalance these global trends. Since 26 January 2010, this has been formally recognized by the European Union, jointly with for instance Aruba and Curaçao (both SIDS as part of the Dutch Kingdom), by signing the Caribbean Energy Security Summit Joint Statement. At the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations, the Government of the Dutch Kingdom fully declared that ‘climate change threatens the existence’ of SIDS. Unfortunately, these geopolitical rhetoric’s and moral stances have not been followed up with geopolitical leadership by this same Government, which is especially true for Curaçao:

  • According to the US Department of Energy, Curaçao belongs to the top 5 CO2 emissions per capita.[1] Cause: the extremely polluting Isla-refinery (exploited by the Venezuelan PDVSA).
  • According to the Air Quality Index (a major initiative of, amongst others, the US Environmental Protection Agency), living leeward the Isla is ‘hazardous’. Cause: illegal actions of the Isla, which were confirmed by the judge in 2010.[2] Hence, on Curaçao human rights and its widely recognized coral reefs are under pressure. This is likely to increase with ensuing climate changes.
  • At the geopolitical level, the Government of the Dutch Kingdom acts alarming. For instance, in the “Convention on Biological Diversity: Fifth National Report of the Kingdom of the Netherlands”, the Isla is intentionally swept on the carpet -despite a huge list of major reports and scientific articles that confirm the environmentally polluting impact of the Isla on air, soil and marine environment.


  • At the upcoming climate conference in Paris, all the participating countries should be fully aware of SIDS problems, within the Dutch Kingdom.
  • The Dutch Kingdom Government should be geopolitically forced to solve its own SIDS problems (first), on the basis of the Dutch Kingdom Charter.
  • All Caribbean islands of the Dutch Kingdom, must be able and be enabled to share in the applied scientific knowledge in this regard that exists within the Netherlands. Consequently, this will result in more autarkic and sustainable Caribbean islands within the Dutch Kingdom as far as energy-consumption is concerned.

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