The Netherlands planned to buy up hundreds of farms near nature reserves in an attempt to quell Dutch farmers’ anger at their goal of halving nitrogen emissions by 2030.
The government will acquire major nitrogen emitters in a voluntary and one-off offer, Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink said in a letter to Parliament in The Hague. The cabinet has provided 24.3 billion euros to fund the transition.
The target, which aims to comply with European Union rules to reduce nitrogen pollution, sparked an uproar among farmers shortly after it was first unveiled in June. If implemented, the government’s plan would require emissions cuts of up to 95% in some provinces and would reduce livestock in the Netherlands by a third over the next eight years.
The protests made global headlines this summer as farm owners brought their cows to The Hague, blocking roads and prompting the agriculture minister to resign.
If not enough farmers sell their businesses, the government may have to put some of them out of business, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a news conference on Friday.
The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products, with estimated exports of 104.7 billion euros ($111 billion) in 2021, according to Wageningen University. Cattle and fertilizers are important sources of nitrogen emissions.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/netherlands-to-buy-out-farmers-amid-pushback-over-nitrogen-goals-42177567.html Netherlands buys out farmers amid backlash over nitrogen targets