Sir: The agricultural agreement must end the stalemate in the agricultural sector
In both nitrogen policy and climate policy, governments and companies are increasingly facing court decisions that overturn the proposed policy. Consider the successes of the environmental movement in the cases against government policy on nitrogen and the lawsuits brought by Urgenda and Milieudefensie against the Dutch government and Shell when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions.
So, according to members of the Crown of SER, it makes no sense to make half-baked political concessions that preserve the peace but will die again in court within a few years.
So the features of the agricultural agreement must come from the new government. Reducing nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions begins with a discussion of the extent of livestock farming in the Netherlands. Livestock reduction is essential according to D66 and GroenLinks, but sensitive to CDA and VVD.
In addition to the size of the livestock, according to the SER, it should also relate to technical solutions to reduce the inconvenience caused by animal manure. Attention should also be paid to biodiversity and the role of farmers in preserving nature.
All of these things should come together in a renewable agricultural sector in the Netherlands that is not only future proof when it comes to the environment and climate, but also where money can be made.
The idea is that without a long-term economic perspective, there will be no investment in green and climate-friendly agriculture. Farmers are particularly frustrated about legislation that changes nearly annually and want clarity over the long term.
The Netherlands is now the second largest agricultural exporter in the world after the United States. Behind the farmers are big companies such as dairy giant FrieslandCampina, slaughterhouses VION, veal producer Van Dere, milking robot factory Lely and many lesser-known companies.
They all depend on the choices the government will or will not give to agriculture in the coming years. It remains to be seen if the agricultural sector can be maintained at its current size without harming the environment, climate and nature.
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