Published On: Wed, Jan 20th, 2016

Sulfur dioxide pollution: Curaçao in 2015 among top three in the world

oil refineryWILLEMSTAD – A well-known fact is that Curaçao belongs to the top 5 in the world for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita, but in 2015, Curaçao ranked among the top 3 in terms of sulfur dioxide.

Last week the official figures from the measurements taken by the government in 2015 were announced on The measurements indicate a record for sulfur dioxide. The annual average of SO2 shows 225 micrograms per cubic meter. In 2013 the average was 152, in 2014 the average was 167. The measurement in 2015 has never been recorded before. There is so much SO2 in the air. Not even during the time of the Dutch company SHELL has there been so much SO2 in the air.

The environmental organization SMOC has indicated that life under the smoke of the oil refinery is hazardous according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “The associated health advice from the AQI is: stay inside, children and asthmatics in particular.”

“Everywhere in the whole world, people are trying to improve air quality, and that trend is also visible. Curaçao is the only country in the world where this trend is the opposite: pollution continues to increase. A very bad development. The Spanish researchers Baldasano, Valera and Jimenez compared in the authoritative ‘The Science of the Total Environment’ in total 210 well-known cities in both developed and less developed countries. Only two cities, Chongqing and Guiyang, both in China, are scoring 'higher' than the 225 micrograms per cubic meter in Curaçao.”

These figures confirm that the Curaçao population living under the smoke is knowingly exposed to air causing health problems and even early death. The government and parliament are silent and agree with this ecocide caused by the oil refinery.

“It is time that the grossest scandal within the Kingdom of the Netherlands is tackled on a very short term,” said SMOC in their press release.

Next week the Dutch parliament will debate on this issue. The government of Curaçao refrained itself from this debate without giving any reason. If it’s up to the SMOC, the Kingdom Government will have to impose a measure on the government of Curaçao on this issue. “The citizens of Curaçao should be protected from harmful emissions, but also against the improper administration of Curaçao and the gross violation of human rights. Ta basta Awor! (It’s enough!)”

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