Nature organizations also won't budge in nitrogen negotiations with Dutch gov't
Nature organizations also do not intend to give the Cabinet any leeway on Monday in their consultations on the nitrogen policy, led by mediator Johan Remkes. Earlier this month, the farmers demanded that the government significantly lower its ambitions to cut nitrogen emissions. The nature organizations will demand that no adjustments be made, NOS reports.
“We simply have to bite the bullet,” Johan Vollenbroek of Mobilization for the Environment (MOB), the most prominent nature organization in the field of nitrogen, said to NOS. “The livestock simply has to be drastically reduced, a large number of farmers will have to stop, and the remaining farmers have to switch to sustainable. There is no alternative.”
Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Natuur en Milieu, and Natuurmonumente also said that the Cabinet’s goals can not be weakened. “We come to help think about the transition, but we are not at the table to compromise,” Greenpeace director Andy Palmen said.
In recent years, nature organizations filed hundreds of lawsuits to urge the government to take more action against climate change. The courts very often ruled in their favor. And it is these lawsuits that prompted the Cabinet to come up with their nitrogen policy, according to NOS.
The government wants to cut nitrogen emissions by half by 2030, though around nitrogen-sensitive nature areas, the cuts will have to be 70 to 95 percent. By 2030, 74 percent of the Netherlands’ Natura 2000 reserves must be below the critical deposition value - the nitrogen level considered safe for nature.
Earlier this month, farmers’ organization LTO Nederland met with Remkes and the Cabinet and demanded they weaken their nitrogen plans. According to the farmers, nitrogen emissions can be reduced, but by much less than 50 percent. They also want the Cabinet to start implementing their plans later and that there be no forced buyouts of farms.
The farmers are unwilling to budge on these demands. But the nature organizations won’t budge either. There is no more room to compromise, Vollenbroek said to NOS. “The nitrogen law passed by parliament is already a gigantic compromise. Once you’ve concluded a treaty, you can’t just break it open and negotiate again.” Nature will continue to deteriorate while politicians negotiate, he added.