Cutting nitrogen emissions in half will lead to significant changes in regions. This was confirmed by the Nature analysis of the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday. This analysis shows that nitrogen emissions in Limburg should be more than halved. In protected natural areas, emissions must be reduced by at least 95 percent, and in the loop around these areas by 70 percent.
At Gelderse Vallei, right next to the Veluwe, nitrogen emissions must be reduced by 58 percent. Also for Nord Brabant, the province with the highest nitrogen emissions, there is a huge amount of work ahead.
Minister Van der Waal (Nature and Nitrogen) sent so-called guiding targets for each region to the House of Representatives on Friday. They are mainly rootstock for farmers. According to RIVM, 45 percent of nitrogen precipitation comes from the agricultural sector. In some areas, many farmers will have to leave or will have to significantly reduce their emissions in some other way.
The Cabinet has yet to come up with concrete plans to support farmers. The Farmers Perspective plan was supposed to ease some of the pain of the nitrogen approach, but Agriculture Secretary Henk Staguerre is primarily looking at “accelerating and prioritizing” the shift to greener circular farming.
However, the minister is considering expanding existing support schemes. The ministry stresses that the plans go hand in hand with the region’s plans to reduce nitrogen emissions, so Friday’s message is only the beginning.
Cabinet wants to help farmers who want to do their jobs greener
The government wants to support farms that want to take up more space for their livestock and want greener agriculture through technical innovations. There may also be help for farmers who want to introduce completely new products or services.
Since there is not enough space for farmers in some areas due to the nitrogen crisis, help is also given to farmers who want to stop or move.
The counties still have time
Although the Cabinet hopes to finally clarify the farmers, the executive districts will still have some time and plenty of wiggle room to achieve the goals. They must submit their area approach on July 1, 2023. In doing so, they can deviate from the specific nitrogen targets for each area, but nature’s goals must be met. Nearly three-quarters of sensitive nature should be returned to a nature-safe level.
Nationally, this means nitrogen emissions must be halved. In some areas, the entire space will have to be repaired in order to achieve higher goals. In areas where agriculture is possible (without problems with water, soil and nature), nitrogen emissions should be reduced by about 12 percent, often through national measures. In many other places, emissions should almost be halved.
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