Port of Amsterdam relies on fossils

Port of Amsterdam relies on fossils

Why anticipate? The world will not change that fast.

The Amsterdam Port Authority is taking big risks. The harbor still relies entirely on fossils.

As soon as it turns out that the Port Authority were sleeping, the municipality has to pay all the costs. 

Drs. Rens van Tilburg, an economist and member of the Sustainable Finance Lab Utrecht University, has warned the City of Amsterdam. 

Carbon bubble scenario

Many important shareholders already ask the stock registered companies to publish their strategy ‘how they remain profitabel as the global warming continues. The Amsterdam port has not done a stress test; the so-called carbon bubble scenario. This carbon bubble will evaporate investments in fossil fuels and derivative industries.

But why should the Amsterdam Port Authority be concerned and implement a green strategy while they are still achieving great results with fossil fuels?

A long term strategy?

Research by the British Carbon Tracker showed that companies systematically underestimate the risks inherent in their investments in fossils and overestimate future demands for fossil fuels.

Port reaction

The Amsterdam Port Authority is assuming that the fossil related freights will reduce from 2030! In that same year, they are still anticipating on coal weights. The Post Authorities of Rotterdam are acting in the same way. ‘Why anticipate? The world will not change that fast.’

The recent bankruptcy of Peabody Energy, the largest US coal company, and the collapse of the shares of many other coal companies are a warning.

Demand for fossil energy is firmly overrated

Probably even now the future demands for fossil energy are firmly overestimated. They als underestimate the rise of renewable energy and the risk of stranded assets.

That is a real risk for Port in the Netherlands. Not the current Port Authorities but the city of Amsterdam and Rotterdam will pay the price:

  • If the fossil fuel customers of the port will go bankrupt
  • and the Port land has been left poisoned
  • as port workers will be unemployed massively because the fossil fuel industry collapses slightly faster than thought

Governments should take the lead with a long term vision on the energy transition. it’s serious. Last week S&P has cut the Shell rating on BG takeover. It’s the second time this year, they lowered the rating. And Shell is only an example of this fast changing world.


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