Polarized reactions to Cabinet’s nitrogen plans in Tweede Kamer


The agricultural sector is anticipating a “big change” with the nitrogen plans of the Cabinet. In many parts of the country, nitrogen emissions have to be reduced to improve nature. The left part of the Tweede Kamer have responded positively, while parties on the right wing have reacted furiously to the Cabinet’s proposals.

Tjeerd de Groot of ruling party D66 sees a future for nature through the plans. He does think that the transition to nature-friendly circular agriculture is going too slowly. Pieter Grinwis of coalition partner ChristenUnie speaks of a painful message, but “we live with too many people and animals in too small an area and that is not sustainable.”

Derk Boswijk of the CDA has many questions. “The government’s nitrogen approach does not provide the clarity that many farming families are waiting for.” He also regrets that it is not yet known what industry, aviation and traffic should do to reduce nitrogen emissions.

According to VVD member Thom van Campen, there will be “a fair future perspective” for farmers and nature will be restored. He understands that the message from the Cabinet comes across as hard on farmers, but emphasizes that industry, aviation and traffic will also contribute to reducing nitrogen emissions. The VVD member still has questions about the elaboration of the plans, including about the consequences for the countryside.

The left-wing opposition supports the policy. “Much of what GroenLinks has been advocating for 30 years when it comes to nature and nitrogen is today announced by the Cabinet,” says Laura Bromet. PvdA member Joris Thijssen sees a “firm nitrogen plan” to get housing going and restore nature.

Right-wing parties are angry. According to Geert Wilders (PVV), “our farmers and our food supply are going down” because of the Cabinet plans. Caroline van der Plas calls the proposals “unacceptable” and “inhumane, without perspective, not legally substantiated, not proportional across the sectors.” According to the foreman of the BoerBurgerBeweging, the entire farming sector is being “turned around.”

JA21 leader Joost Eerdmans speaks of “total madness. Destruction of our most important food supply, agricultural clear-cutting and our beautiful farmland is disappearing.” According to him, it is due to the “immeasurably high standards without necessity” to which the Netherlands has “hung.” The SGP fears that many farmers will be expropriated. According to the small Christian party, the Cabinet is “turning everyone against themselves” with these plans.


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