HomeTechnologyDutch Nitrogen Mediator Advises Buying From Biggest Polluters

Dutch Nitrogen Mediator Advises Buying From Biggest Polluters


By MIKE CORDER Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An independent expert appointed to mediate a bitter dispute between the Dutch government and the country’s farmers over plans to slash nitrogen and ammonia emissions released a report Wednesday that included a suggestion of that the government buy hundreds of the biggest polluters.

The report could reignite protests by farmers who say their way of life is threatened and spark tensions in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling four-party coalition over how best to move forward. Two tractors parked in a peaceful protest outside the temporary seat of the Dutch parliament when the report was released.

Johan Remkes said in his 58-page report that he called “a train of thought, not a plan,” that “it is necessary in the very short term to emit much less nitrogen.”

If that doesn’t happen, “The Netherlands will be locked in because legally it will be almost impossible to issue permits. Neither for houses, nor for farms, nor for roads”.

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He added: “I write this with a heavy heart, but I see no other way.”

Remkes suggested that the government buy within a year 500-600 of the biggest polluters, from the agricultural and corporate world.

He said that by targeting the largest farms, only 1% of the farming community would be directly affected.

“I don’t expect the agricultural sector to be happy with this report,” but added that he believed it was important to present an “honest story,” Remkes wrote.

Bart Kemp, leader of the farmers’ group Agractie, said the report contained “positive things but also very worrying points”. He said that compulsory purchase of farms was out of the question for his organization.

Remkes held a series of meetings over the summer with farmers, government ministers, environmentalists and others in a bid to defuse rising tensions over government plans to halve nitrogen emissions by 2030.

The government’s announcement in June that farmers and regional authorities had a year to draw up plans for the reductions sparked a wave of protests from angry farmers who blocked roads with their tractors, dumped rubbish, including in some cases asbestos, on roads and burned bales of hay. Across the country, farmers and their supporters have hung Dutch flags upside down as a sign of their anger.

Remkes handed over his report to the new Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Piet Adema, and the minister responsible for nitrogen policy, Christianne van der Wal. She said the government would study the report and give a formal reaction on October 14.

Adema said he wanted to visit rural areas to discuss the contents of the report with farmers.

The government says nitrogen and ammonia emissions produced by livestock, as well as the heavy industry and transport sector, must be drastically reduced near natural areas that are part of a network of protected habitats for plants and wildlife in danger of extinction that extends throughout 27 countries. European Union.

The government has allocated billions of euros (dollars) to finance the transition.

Farmers say their very livelihoods are threatened and argue they are being unfairly targeted, while other polluters face narrower rules.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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