Election can't change nitrogen targets: D66; CDA to close gap with national politics
The D66 is open to talking to Caroline van der Plas and her farmers’ party BBB, but there is no room to change the targets for reducing nitrogen emissions, D66 leader Jan Paternotte said before a party meeting on Tuesday. CDA leader Pieter Heema said that the gap between national and local politics has become too great, also for the CDA. Both gaps must be closed, Heerma said prior to the second meeting of the CDA parliamentary faction since the elections.
BBB leader Caroline van der Plas previously said that the D66 would “have to bend or burst” regarding the nitrogen targets. Paternotte is open for a cup of coffee. “But I can’t do much with these terms,” he said. “People in the Netherlands see that we talk about it a lot,” Paternotte said about the nitrogen file. “I think the best thing we can do is to solve the problems.” As far as he is concerned, the government will stick to its targets to halve nitrogen emissions by 2030.
According to Paternotte, the facts aren’t suddenly different a week after the election than they were a week before. The D66 will stick to the promises made to its constituents and will not change its mind “because other people voted for BBB.”
“Van der Plas’s election victory is great, but it is not as if the nitrogen crisis has suddenly disappeared,” Paternotte said. “In fact, last Friday, Harbers [Minsiter of Infrastrucutre] announced that the construction of roads can’t continue.” According to Paternotte, the D66 is known for “telling difficult messages honestly” and for taking measures “that may not be popular, but are necessary.”
The CDA will focus on closing the gap between national and local politics, leader Pieter Heerma said before the second parliamentary meeting with his fiction. Monday’s meeting was long, tough, and “sometimes emotional,” he said. The party does not yet know what the CDA parliamentarians or Ministers must do differently. “We have to make choices more together with our local administrators.”
Nitrogen is one of the most important files on which something really needs to be done, Heerma said. After the provincial elections, there is a “new political reality, and the Cabinet has to relate to that.” CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra already said that the 2030 deadline for halving nitrogen is open to discussion, and Heerma repeated that. He believes that the Cabinet should not wait for the province’s plans to achieve the nitrogen reduction but should “actively enter into dialogue” with the provinces and society.”
Hoekstra doesn’t have to step down, and the coalition agreement doesn’t have to be broken, the CDA party chairman said. The CDA wants to stay in the Cabinet. “Otherwise, I would be standing here with a different announcement,” Heerma said. But there are “steps” that must be taken. “I’m not going to dictate which steps and what the result should be because that ball is in the Cabinet’s court. We’re going to check whether that’ happens enough.”
The CDA lost 31 of its 74 seats in the Provincial Councils in the elections last week. It looks like the party will have to give up four of its current nine seats in the Senate.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times