Reduce nitrogen emissions by giving room to the energy transition

Give energy transition space and confidence, then the nitrogen emissions also decrease. ‘ According to Groningen Seaports, major opportunities are in danger of being missed as a result of the PAS ruling.

Groningen Seaports believes that the cabinet should quickly come up with a sustainable solution for nitrogen. The economy in the Northern Netherlands is coming to a virtual standstill due to the PAS (Program Approach to Nitrogen) ruling. Some thirty initiatives in the ports that contribute to the energy transition have been put in jeopardy. Existing companies also have to deal with it. The region is in danger of missing out on hundreds of millions of investments. In addition, this could have a negative effect on employment at the companies themselves and their suppliers. “We do everything we can to achieve the climate targets, but the nitrogen rules make this more difficult,” said Cas König, director of Groningen Seaports. The port authority itself will also notice this in its results. “Companies do not know where they stand and therefore wait with investing.”

“Projects that contribute to reducing CO2 emissions usually also contribute to reducing nitrogen emissions. Consider, for example, projects where renewable electricity is produced instead of gas. That is why the energy transition should not be halted by nitrogen, but rather projects that contribute to less CO2 emissions in the chain should be given room and acceleration, ”says König. If this does not happen, this is a major threat to the regional economy, to achieving the climate objectives and to biodiversity.

The Nitrogen Approach Program
The Nitrogen Approach Program (PAS) contained the basis for authorizing activities that emit nitrogen. It is a system that on the one hand offers space for activities that cause nitrogen, such as permits for livestock farms and industry or road construction. On the other hand, the PAS also contains measures to reduce the adverse effects of nitrogen on nature reserves. The PAS therefore anticipates the future positive consequences of measures for protected nature areas and gives “prior” permission to new activities. The Council of State has now assessed that this is not allowed because it is contrary to European nature legislation

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