Friends of the Earth Netherlands called on the municipality of Haarlem to close the rink as soon as possible and let the ice melt.
It sounded like a charming idea. Enjoy skating in the summer, on the semi-covered ice rink in Haarlem. However, Friends of the Earth Netherlands thought it was an insane plan in these times and is taking the municipality to court.
Skating on thin ice during a heat wave
Having an ice rink running in the middle of a heatwave, some might say is not very environmentally friendly as it takes a lot of energy and causes harmful CO2 emissions. When it is 26 degrees outside, it is also 26 degrees in the semi-covered ice rink.
The ice rink has been open for more than a few weeks, during the time temperatures were above 30 degrees, and is due continue its summer season until the end of August. Though, the court action called for it to close the 400-metre rink as soon as possible.
Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) finds it totally irresponsible that in these times of climate crisis in the middle of summer machines are running full throttle to get an ice floor ready.
So Milieudefensie submitted an enforcement request to the Environment Agency, which supervises on behalf of the municipality, to close the ice rink as quickly as possible and to let the ice melt.
After deliberation, the judge decided that the summer ice rink was permitted to stay open.
In an announcement on 20 August, the court ruled that the municipality was right not to take enforcement action because ‘the permit does not contain any regulations that limit energy consumption and CO2 emissions to a maximum’, the written ruling states.