Schiphol and Lelystad buy out surrounding farms to boost nitrogen limit
Schiphol airport has bought out a number of cattle farms around the site to raise its nitrogen emissions limit, a spokesman confirmed to NRC on Tuesday.
Acquiring the land in Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland province will allow the airport to meet its obligations to cut nitrogen compound emissions without the need to cut the number of commercial flights drastically.
Schiphol has also bought out ‘fewer than 10’ cattle farms in Utrecht to ease the pressure on Lelystad Airport, which was earmarked in 2015 as an alternative departure point for flights to tourist destinations but remains unused. The government will decide in 2024 whether to go ahead with the expansion.
The government said in June it planned to cut the maximum number of flights taking off from Schiphol annually from 500,000 to 440,000 as part of its strategy to reduce nitrogen pollution, as required by a Council of State judgment in 2019.
The cabinet also wants to buy out up to 3,000 farms and shut them down in order to bring down emissions. Schiphol’s move is controversial because it will enable the airport to offset its own emissions against lower levels on the disused farmland.
In March this year nature minister Christianne van der Wal declined an environmental permit for Lelystad because the impact of nitrogen-base pollution had been calculated wrongly. Schiphol is also waiting to be granted a permit and environmental activists have threatened to go to court if it fails to reduce emission levels.
A spokesman for Schiphol Group told NRC that buying out the farmers was part of its wider strategy to meet the nitrogen emissions criteria. ‘That’s why we have approached cattle farmers for their nitrogen rights. The farmers themselves notified us that they were open to the idea.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation