During the next cabinet meeting, the Dutch government might decide to tighten targets around nitrogen emissions. It will mean the farms would then no longer be allowed to emit nitrogen at all.
Certain provinces like Gelderland, Brabant, and Overijssel are ‘nitrogen sensitive provinces’. Tightening of the nitrogen emission rules will even lead to a situation where agriculture is no longer possible in these regions, warns ‘Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL)’ (The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) in a policy advisory.
Currently, the government is planning for a’ non-area-focused’ nitrogen emission approach. But, the advisory board (PBL) suggests it would be better to look for solutions per region. Because, according to the PBL, it’s ultimately about improving the quality of nature and not necessarily about reducing nitrogen.
The PBL also suggests that nitrogen precipitation is an important but not the only indicator of nature quality in a specific area. Short-term nitrogen emissions don’t immediately cause a deterioration of the environment. It impacts the environment when the emission happens sharply and for a long time.
The PBL thinks that the key to improving environmental quality lies with an integrated strategy that considers Nitrogen emissions, water quality, land size, and quality. All these factors contribute to a safer, greener environment.
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan