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Greenpeace on Wednesday asked a court to block the 3.4 billion euros ($4 billion) of state aid granted to the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, arguing the government had failed to force the ailing airline to make its business more sustainable.


“Climate change is dangerous and is happening now,” Greenpeace lawyer Frank Peters said at a summary hearing at the district court of The Hague.

“The government has missed the chance to deal with pollution caused by aviation now.”

After months of negotiations, the Dutch government in June agreed to offer KLM an aid package to keep it flying through the coronavirus crisis.

The bailout terms include new environmental and noise pollution targets for KLM which were insisted upon by the Dutch parliament, as well as cost cuts.


These order KLM to cut its greenhouse gas emissions per passenger in half by 2030 relative to their 2005 levels.

But Greenpeace said this will not reduce total emissions, as long as the number of passengers continues to grow.

“The state should take every opportunity to cut emissions”, Peters said. “Delaying this will lead to a subsidized increase in emissions.”

But the government said its conditions were in line with international aviation agreements, while stricter demands could easily bring down the airline it is trying to save.

“Stricter climate demands will mean significantly higher costs and a disadvantage to competitors”, the state’s lawyer Karlijn Teuben said.

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