The port of Rotterdam is the port of choice for the supply and transshipment of coal to destinations in Northwest Europe. The port’s maximum water depth is 23.65 metres, making it the only port in the Hamburg – Le Havre region where maximum size vessels can discharge and load their dry bulk coal, offering attractive economies of scale.

As informed, in November last year, the city council accepted a motion that asks the Mayor and Aldermen to plan the coal phase out in Rotterdam harbour at a speed that respects the Paris Agreement. However, there has been no visible movement since then, the NGOs noted.

With our letter we strongly encourage the city council of Rotterdam to continue with its efforts to secure a phase out of coal transshipments, and we urge the Mayor, Aldermen and harbour CEO to work with the city council to make this happen.

Ending coal shipments in Rotterdam is expected to accelerate the end of coal use in Europe and in Germany in particular and is aligned with the Dutch government's decision to phase out coal power in the Netherlands by 2030. It will reduce levels of damaging coal dust and air pollutants from the supply chain through to the burning of the coal, and will improve health and climate outcomes for all. Stefanie Langkamp, Campaign Director, Climate Alliance Germany, said:

A recent study again confirmed that people in Germany overwhelmingly want a coal phase-out, but the incoming government is dragging its feet. The end of coal is coming, and taking decisive steps to ending the mining, shipment, and burning of coal is essential for a successful transition to a low-carbon future.A coal phase-out is inevitable to reach the goals of the Paris agreement, and ending coal transshipments in the Port of Rotterdam will be an important signal to Germany to pick up speed on the way to its own coal-free future.