Dutch government angers farmers with tough emission goals

Jun 10, 2022, 8:09 AM | Updated: 1:20 pm
FILE - Some thousand of farmers converge on The Hague, Netherlands, Feb. 19, 2020, in the latest pr...

FILE - Some thousand of farmers converge on The Hague, Netherlands, Feb. 19, 2020, in the latest protest against the government's plans to rein in emissions of nitrogen oxide. The Dutch government unveiled goals Friday June 10, 2022, to drastically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides to protect the environment, a plan that would lead to major upheavals in the Netherlands' multibillion dollar agriculture industry and has already angered some farmers. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government unveiled goals Friday to drastically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides to protect the environment, a plan that would lead to major upheavals in the Netherlands’ multibillion dollar agriculture industry and has already angered some farmers.

Calling it an “unavoidable transition,” the government mandated reductions in emissions of up to 70% in many places close to protected nature areas and as high as 95% in other places.

The ruling coalition earmarked an extra 24.3 billion euros ($25.6 billion) to finance changes that will likely make many farmers drastically reduce their number of livestock or to get rid of them altogether.

Farming is a key sector in the Dutch economy, with exports worth nearly 105 billion euros last year. But it comes at a cost of producing of polluting gases, despite farmers taking steps to reduce emissions.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte conceded that the plan would hit many farmers hard.

“Of course, it has enormous consequences. I understand that, and it is simply terrible,” Rutte said. “And especially if they are businesses handed down in the family who want to proudly continue.”

Provincial governments across the Netherlands now have a year to draw up concrete plans to achieve the reductions outlined in the goals released Friday.

LTO, an organization that represents 35,000 farmers, called the targets “unrealistic.”

A group representing angry farmers already has called for a demonstration in The Hague later this month to protest Friday’s proposals. Past protests by the agriculture sector have seen hundreds of tractors clogging roads around the country and gathering on a park in The Hague.

Some farmers did not wait and drove their tractors in protests Friday night, including a group who parked in the street where the government minister responsible for the nitrogen policy lives, local media reported. National broadcaster NOS reported that the minister, Christianne van der Wal, left her house to speak to the farmers.

The government has been forced to act in part because European Union emissions guidelines are being breached around the country and that has led to courts blocking building and infrastructure projects in recent years because they would exacerbate the problem.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of climate issues at https://apnews.com/hub/climate

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

West Africa leaders lift sanctions on military-led neighbors

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — West African leaders attending a regional summit Sunday lifted sanctions against three neighbors led by military governments that are now promising a return to democratic rule. The summit of the Economic Community of West African States resolved to lift all economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, […]
14 hours ago
People evacuated from the Field's shopping center gather outside,  in Orestad, Copenhagen, Denmark,...
Associated Press

Several dead in Copenhagen mall shooting; suspect arrested

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A gunman opened fired inside a busy shopping mall in the Danish capital on Sunday, killing several people and wounding several others, police said. A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested after the shooting, Copenhagen police inspector Søren Thomassen told reporters, adding there was no indication that anyone else was involved, though […]
14 hours ago
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, briefs the media after a meeting with her counterpart fr...
Associated Press

Germany, Ireland slam UK move toward overriding Brexit deal

LONDON (AP) — Germany and Ireland have condemned the U.K government’s move towards unilaterally rewriting parts of the post-Brexit deal with the European Union. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Irish counterpart Simon Coveney said there was “no legal or political justification” for overriding the agreed trade rules in Northern Ireland. Writing in British newspaper […]
14 hours ago
FILE - California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the recent mass shooting in Texas during a news confe...
Associated Press

‘Join us in California’: Newsom targets GOP in Florida ad

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for reelection in California, but his latest television ad is airing in Florida. The 30-second spot scheduled to air on Fox News starting Monday takes shots at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his policies, while drawing a contrast with California. “Freedom, it’s under attack in your […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Man shot was unarmed, officers feared he would fire

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A Black man shot and killed by Akron police officers in a hail of bullets following a vehicle and foot pursuit was unarmed at the time of the shooting, but a shot appeared to have come from the vehicle during the pursuit, and officers said they feared he was preparing to […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Shark attacks Long Island lifeguard during training exercise

FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Suffolk County officials closed a Long Island beach to swimming Sunday after what they described as an unprecedented shark attack that injured a lifeguard. The lifeguard had been playing the role of a victim during a training exercise when the shark bit him in the chest and hand, Suffolk County […]
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Dutch government angers farmers with tough emission goals