Sustainable Agriculture Could Help the Netherlands Reach Climate Goals and Resolve Nitrogen Issues

In a NRC article, Guidehouse explores viable options for sustainable agriculture

Following a recent European court ruling, almost all activities emitting nitrogen oxides or ammonia have come to a halt in the Netherlands. The ruling, which deems current Dutch policies to reduce nitrogen deposition in natural areas insufficient, has spurred a debate about the country’s agricultural sector as it accounts for 45% of nitrogen deposition and about 14% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands.

In an NRC article in response to the debate, Guidehouse sustainability experts Tom Berg, Irina van der Hoorn, Kees van der Leun, and Giel Linthorst show that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and ammonia emissions from the sector can go hand in hand.

Building on their expertise in science-based target setting and work for the Dutch agricultural sector, the authors demonstrate that measures like acidification of manure, nitrification inhibitors, or precision fertilization not only help to reduce GHG emissions from the sector but can also aid in reducing emissions of ammonia, which lead to nitrogen deposition.

On their own, the suggested measures could lead to half of the reductions needed to achieve the goals from the Dutch Climate Agreement. In addition to this promising potential, the agriculture sector has an important role to play in the decarbonization of other sectors through the production of biogas from agricultural residues.

Read the full article in Dutch at

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