Interest groups about postponing government nitrogen decisions: ‘total chaos’, ‘shameful’ and ‘amateurism’

Interest groups have reacted critically to the government’s decision on the nitrogen crisis. The coalition parties are putting off difficult decisions about the sensitive nitrogen policy, was the outcome of days-long consultations between the top of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie on Friday. New negotiations on nitrogen policy will only take place once the provinces have concluded council agreements. On the other hand, Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) said to “accelerate” the reduction of nitrogen emissions.

Farmers’ organization Agractie calls the message from the cabinet a “total chaos”, writes the ANP news agency. “On the one hand the pause button, on the other hand speed up. The pause button seems more than logical to us, in order to arrive at policy in the provinces with support in the countryside and among farmers”. Agractie says that there can be no question of acceleration at the moment. In addition, according to the organization, “space is first needed within the goals of the coalition to arrive at realistically implementable policy”.

Read also: Coalition provisionally saved by postpone sensitive nitrogen decisions

‘Shameful’ and ‘amateurishness’

Environmental organizations are also critical of the cabinet decision. Greenpeace tells NOS that it finds the policy “very bad news”, especially for the vulnerable nature for which delay means “the death knell”. The environmental organization finds it “shameful to see” that the cabinet “has been unable to protect nature in the Netherlands for years”. On Twitter, Greenpeace announced again on Friday that postponing the nitrogen plans is “not an option”.

Johan Vollenbroek of environmental organization MOB focuses his criticism mainly on Prime Minister Rutte, who shows “complete incompetence” by postponing nitrogen decisions. He says this to the ANP news agency. He also speaks of “toddlers” and “amateurism” and says that Rutte has “the backbone of a garden hose”. Vollenbroek believes that a start should be made on tackling peak loaders, companies that are responsible for a lot of nitrogen emissions.

Bouwend Nederland agrees and speaks to the NOS of a “convulsive response” from the cabinet. According to a spokesman for the employers’ organization, “nothing stands in the way” of continuing with the ‘acceleration agreement’, which is about nitrogen emission reduction for the period up to and including 2030. The buy-out of peak loaders is part of that agreement.