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Montevideo, August 8th 2022 - 21:58 UTC

 

 

The “nitrogen war” in Netherlands, an anticipation of times to come

Monday, July 18th 2022 - 09:03 UTC
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Netherlands emits a large quantity of nitrogen because of its massive agriculture industry which accounts for about 87% of the country's 124 million kilograms of annual ammonia emissions Netherlands emits a large quantity of nitrogen because of its massive agriculture industry which accounts for about 87% of the country's 124 million kilograms of annual ammonia emissions

Farmers in the Netherlands are revolting over the government's plan to drastically reduce nitrogen emissions by 2030 and is pointing to agriculture and farmers as the worst offenders. But farmers have taken to the streets, blocking roads, and distribution centers, and there has been some serious incidents, including police opening fire on protestors,

It all looks as the “nitrogen war” in the Netherlands is an anticipation of the conflict between environment awareness organizations and agriculture, industry over production systems and its consequences.

“I really understand their anger,” Marcel Crok, a Dutch science writer and co-founder of the Climate Intelligence Foundation, said in an interview. “The farmers are also angry because they say, ‘we are the only sector who get all the blame.’ What about industry? What about the traffic? Maybe we should just ban all the cars in the Netherlands because they also emit nitrogen.”

“This plan as announced in practice means that, in certain areas, farmers have to reduce their nitrogen emissions by 70%,” he continued. “That means they simply have to quit.”

The proposal to sharply cut nitrogen emissions is tied to a 2019 Dutch court decision forcing the nation's government to take more aggressive measures to curb nitrogen emissions. The Netherlands, though, has heavily regulated agriculture emissions since the 1990s and farmers have largely complied with such rules, Crok said.

Netherlands emits a large quantity of nitrogen because of its massive agriculture industry which accounts for about 87% of the country's 124 million kilograms of annual ammonia emissions, a US Department of Agriculture report showed. The nation exported US$26.8 billion worth of food products despite having a relatively tiny population compared to other major producers, according to World Bank data. 

“It is not very rational to curb the Dutch agriculture if you realize that they have the highest production per acre in the world and therefore the environmental load per kilogram food is lower than elsewhere,” Simon Rozendaal, a Dutch journalist and chemists said. “So, in a sense Dutch agriculture is a benefit for climate as well as biodiversity.”

“This will definitely affect ordinary civilians and is part of a global agenda, so everyone around the world, especially Western countries, should be aware that this is something that is not just about the Dutch government. This is part of the ‘2030 agenda,’ this is part of the ‘great reset.’

”Similar protests could soon happen in the U.K. and parts of the European Union where natural gas and energy costs are near historic levels, according to Benny Peiser, the director of the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation. In the U.K., increased prices are expected to send 24% of households, or about 6.5 million households, into fuel poverty.

“The issue is that despite this growing energy crisis in Europe, some governments still prioritize the climate agenda which makes energy ever more expensive, or which forces farmers to close their farms because that is the top priority, still, for a number of governments,” Peiser argued. “This whole green agenda is causing huge burdens.”

“The Dutch are driven mad by these policies because it's killing their businesses and the farmers are fighting back big time,” he said. “This is what's going to happen all over Europe. I have no doubt that, come winter and millions of families can't heat their homes or pay their bills anymore, that there will be unrest all over Europe.”

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