October 4, 2022

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Due to a fatal error in the numbers, farmers were on the list of the biggest emitters: "embarrassing and bad" |  Policy

Due to a fatal error in the numbers, farmers were on the list of the biggest emitters: “embarrassing and bad” | Policy

UpdateNitrogen Minister Christian van der Waal (VVD) provided the House of Representatives with incorrect information about the largest nitrogen emitters. The fatal error can be attributed to the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The room asks for text and explanation.

It is farmers in particular who have recently implemented improvements to reduce emissions that have been wrongly listed. This is evidenced by inquiries about this site at both the Department of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). A spokeswoman for Minister VVD says she “heard wrong late last night”. “We regret that,” the spokesman said. “If you have an air purifier and that means much lower emissions from the barn, you’re still on the list.”

RIVM acknowledges the error. The institute explains that “in the incorrect data file, a code was assigned to sheds with modern emission reduction technologies that corresponded to the type of shed that was less clean.” “Since this often concerns pens with large numbers of animals, the impact of this shortage is significant for these sheds. This may mean that stables that do not actually have high emissions are still on the list.”

LTO Nederland calls it a “very careless mistake”. The Agriculture and Horticultural Organization wants to get this right before tonight’s discussion at 6 p.m. This discussion tonight is all about nitrogen issues and then you need to be able to have a conversation with the right people. Then a spokesperson for LTO Nederland said “that’s too sloppy!”.

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The list of farms has been made anonymous, so it only says that it relates, for example, to a cattle farm from a particular place. The USDA admits, “Fortunately, the list was put up anonymously, otherwise it would have been very disturbing.”

Explanation in discussion

Van der Waal will have to explain the error in this evening’s parliamentary debate. “The RIVM’s emissions lists have been revised significantly,” says Member of Parliament Caroline van der Plas of BoerBurgerBeweging. You want to know from the Minister “how this could happen”. Van der Plas also questions how long this list has been and whether the data “has policy consequences”. She’d rather see a message before discussing the outline tonight. “I’ve talked to farmers who say, ‘I think this is my company, but the kilograms of ammonia is impossible.'”

What van der Plas found “appalling” and “strange” was that no one in the ministry had noticed the errors in the list. “Are you so obsessed with nitrogen emissions that you don’t see this as a bug? We’re talking about buying farmers for the billions. You can shut down hundreds of businesses, complete with families. You can’t talk about it for a while, with a bug in an excel sheet.” You want a letter from the Minister of Nitrogen before 5 p.m. with a comprehensive statement of the facts about how this went wrong. “They said they would do their best.”


Dirk Boswick, a Christian Democrat MP, supports her: “I was really surprised that such a huge mistake occurred.” Like many other MPs, he hopes the minister will provide a text and explanation in the debate. can give. “The Top 100 is the Top 100,” says Laura Promett, Member of Parliament at GroenLinks, who requested the list. “Farmers will be dropped from the list, but new farmers will also be added.”

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