Redirecting Anger: Buying a taxpayer’s peak in a year isn’t arithmetic | Nitrogen approach

Nitrogen crisisJohan Remix says his suggestion to buy so-called “peak loaders,” large nitrogen emitters near the Natura 2000 areas, if they are not “cleaner” in a year, is not an exact science. “You mentioned 2023, but it’s not math at all.”

He said that during a House hearing he was asked to explain his nitrogen report.

Remkes made a recommendation to the Cabinet that they should ensure that five to six hundred companies (mostly large cattle ranches) stopped near natural areas at risk within a year, or adapted their company to emit less. So Remix mentioned an end date of 2023, but at the same time a nuance: “You mentioned 2023, but it’s not arithmetic at all.”

He says “speed” is essential, especially to create space for the so-called 2,500 PAS detectors. These are farmers who were left without a valid permit by a decision of the State Council in 2019. “So if you take longer for peak cranes, you will also wait longer.”

Remkes also mentioned a full buy as a last resort. “Sometimes a business plan can be modified, so that it makes other products. Sometimes innovation can be a solution.”

Remix admitted that EU rules can still put an end to farmers’ purchases. This can be considered as aid from the state and is therefore prohibited. However, according to Remix, it is not hopeless. “I have great respect for lawyers. But if you put a few lawyers in a room with a few people with more responsibility for politics, there is often a lot more than was initially thought. If a barrier were erected from Brussels, the ministers would have a corridor to Brussels. This requires some thought in Brussels.”

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He said the innovation “should not be an excuse” for not “doing more” about nitrogen emissions. “But there are a few possibilities. I wouldn’t check the list of what works and what doesn’t, because I didn’t study for it.”

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By the way, it is still not clear what exactly 500 to 600 Remkes peak cranes mean. On a TV show Buitenhof RMEX said Sunday that the Department of Agriculture will have such a list with peak loading. Minister Christian van der Waal (Nature and Nitrogen) said on Tuesday that her department had no such list. Remix then said he “regretted” that there had been a “misunderstanding” about it. “I was wrong in assuming there was a list of peak loaders, as indicated in the report. If the Minister points out that this is not the case, she is absolutely right, because that will depend on the choices still to be made by the Cabinet.”

Calibration Moments

Remix wrote last week after long talks with farmers and administrators that the Cabinet should stick to targets for reducing nitrogen emissions by 2030. However, “calibration moments” should be set in 2025 and 2028 to see if they are still possible.

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Remix hasn’t explicitly stated that 2030 is “holy,” but he wants to see that year included in law. “For me, ‘presently 2030’ is included in the law, and the provisions in the report are also included in the law. This means that it is not a holy commandment.”

The government will respond to the RMEX report on Friday.

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