Don't move nitrogen targets, buyout large emitters, mediator says after farmers talks
The Cabinet must not just push aside the nitrogen targets for the year 2030 and should focus on the forced buy-out of large nitrogen emitters near vulnerable nature areas. These are two of about 20 recommendations mediator Johan Remkes will present to the government this afternoon after months of consultations with farmers, governments, and other stakeholders in the nitrogen crisis, sources told De Telegraaf and Trouw.
While the targets of halving nitrogen emissions by 2030 must remain, the government should reconsider between 2025 and 2028 whether the goals can be achieved everywhere in the Netherlands. Remkes, appointed to break a deadlock between protesting farmers and the government on the nitrogen policy, will advise the Cabinet to add this little back door to its plans, sources told De Telegraaf.
Remkes is also pushing for forced buyouts of large nitrogen emitters near vulnerable areas, according to Trouw’s sources. The Ministry of Finance previously calculated that such targeted buyouts of large companies would be cheaper and more effective. And earlier this week, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) said that the government’s voluntary buyout scheme is doomed to fail. Though the PBL warned against forced buyouts, saying that they could result in years-long lawsuits.
Forced buyouts are a very sensitive topic for farmers. The government has always stressed that company closures would start on a voluntary basis but kept forced closures in the reserve if not enough farmers volunteer.
Remkes will present his report to the Cabinet this afternoon. According to De Telegraaf, it also contains fierce criticism of the national government for faltering so much with this policy.