Independent journalism about VU Amsterdam | Since 1953
16 June 2024

& Culture

VU scientists block coal train

Twelve members of Scientist Rebellion, including several VU employees, blocked a coal train this Monday afternoon in the port of Amsterdam.

Starting at 13.30, members of Scientists Rebellion and members of Kappen met Kolen (Quit with Coals) blocked a railway track to prevent a coal train from leaving. And at 15h the arrival of a coal train was blocked. The activists demand that the government phase out fossil fuels.

The action on 4 December took place during the ongoing COP28 in Dubai. In response to the UN climate conference, hosted by the CEO of an oil company, over 1400 scientists and academics signed a letter. In it, they warn for disastrous consequences if we continue on our current path and call on everyone to take action.


‘Thirty years ago virtually all countries promised to avoid dangerous climate change. 27 global UN climate conferences later, carbon emissions are 60% higher than they were in 1992. Our political leaders are catastrophically failing us’, says VU assistant professor water and climate risk Marthe Wens in a press release.

Eight of the activists were arrested, including four VU Amsterdam employees. “We might get a fine. We’re not sure yet”, explains VU assistant professor Niels Debonne. The group was released by the police the same day.


Stick to the subject and show respect: commercial expressions, defamation, swearing and discrimination are not allowed. Comments with URLs in them are often mistaken for spam and then deleted. Editors do not discuss deleted comments.

Fields with * are obligated
** your email address will not be published and we will not share it with third parties. We only use it if we would like to contact you about your response. See also our privacy policy.