OpinionThe government’s approach to nitrogen will not help nature much. There are more factors that play a role than just nitrogen. It ignores the government, says Bart Kemp. Agriculture wants to think along.
We live in a crowded country. We want sufficient space to live, recreate and work and an attractive landscape where we can produce sufficiently safe food. It collides.
Bart Kemp is chairman of Agractie Nederland and sheep breeder.
Therefore, the government has devised a rigorous approach that, together with the climate approach, will cost at least 16,000 euros per household of four people – a total of 60 billion. But will this approach also help nature further? And do the Dutch want this policy? New. This extremely expensive approach ignores the knowledge that many more factors, such as moisture and soil conditions, have a major impact on the quality and development of nature. In addition, a large part of the reduction in nitrogen will again be filled by economic growth and air traffic. Both the Remkes and Hordijk committees and the Dutch Environmental Assessment Bureau have stated in their recommendations that ammonia and nitrogen cannot be exchanged, that the current Aerius calculation model is not suitable and that nitrogen precipitation in itself does not say anything about the state of nature. No calculation has even been made as to whether it will help nature at least to spend these billions of your money.
How can we solve this? Agriculture can and will make a major contribution to this. Over the past twenty years, we have already reduced nitrogen emissions by more than 65 percent. And we can halve emissions again with new technical methods. It is more than seven times cheaper than buying up farm families, and we continue to produce safe and affordable food in this time of war and high inflation. Many farmers also want to stop volunteering for the next ten years. Because we understand that there is a need for (nitrogen) space for the construction of affordable housing and other economic development.
There are some issues involved. Will we as a society accept that in a jam-packed country we can not naturally preserve certain pieces of ‘desirable nature’ created by ourselves according to the book? That this might be better in less fertile parts of Europe with a low population density? Do we also make room for a vital agricultural community that has room to ensure an attractive landscape and can produce safe and affordable food with a minimum of emissions?
We argue for realistic, sustainable nature with an eye to the natural enrichment process in a fertile delta that in many areas is ‘Europe’s drainage drain’. In addition, there is plenty of room for an attractive and varied landscape with ‘peasant nature’.
Give the farmer financial leeway to maintain this. This involves choices other than those currently being made by the government. Now The Hague is decimating the peasants at record speed in favor of other interests.
This also accelerates the scale increase; after all, only the strongest and largest companies survive?
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