We need activist civil servants for a civilized uprising.
Jan Rotmans, Professor of Sustainability Transitions Studies
Welcome to XR Civil Servants, for civil servants from all levels of the Dutch government who, sometimes disruptively but always respectfully, work for the climate, both outside and within their own organizations.
XR Civil Servants is a part of Extinction Rebellion. We connect with each other across the country, take action within our own organizations or sectors, support one another, exchange knowledge and experiences, and inspire colleagues to become active for a livable climate.
How do we see our role?
The government is the most powerful institution in our society. It has a significant influence on everyone’s lives and can either fuel or hinder significant changes. Its purpose is to protect citizens so that they can live in freedom and safety. However, it is clear that the government does not always act in the best interest of its citizens. Therefore, it is our duty to expose or even take action against unlawful or unjust actions by the government.
We have all taken an oath of office. These oaths have various versions, but almost always include something like: I am committed to the general interest, the well-being of all citizens, and the Constitution. Sometimes it also includes: I form an independent judgment on the moral correctness of my actions. This oath is more relevant now than ever.
Why do we need to do something?
According to the court ruling in the Urgenda Climate Case, there is a real threat of dangerous climate change, which poses a serious risk that the current generation of residents will face loss of life, thus creating an obligation for the State to provide protection against this real threat.
The Climate Act stipulates that by 2030 we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% compared to 1990, and by 95% by 2050.
For example, the city of Amsterdam aims to achieve a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 but is currently on track for only a 2% reduction by 2025. It is absolutely unrealistic to assume that the goal can be achieved with the current approach. Therefore, it is time for action. As civil servants, we must fulfill our duty by acting now. There are various ways to do this, from engaging in activism, drafting a letter of concern, and initiating a serious conversation within your organization, to engaging in debates with ministers. In this online document, you will find many more tips and useful information, such as the Rights of Civil Servants: XR Civil Servants Online Information Document.
You can sign up via the email address below. Don’t forget to include your mobile number so that we can contact you by phone.