Nitrogen crisis in The Netherlands: are the Dutch going to cut speed limits?

The maximum speed on national and provincial roads needs to be lowered as soon as possible in order to reduce nitrogen emissions and restore nature in the Netherlands, according to advice from the Remkes commission to the government.

The Netherlands must take “drastic measures” as soon as possible, as the nitrogen crisis threatens nature reserves. The quality of nature in the Netherlands has decreased due to nitrogen emissions in recent years. The cabinet is set to reply to the report by the beginning of October.

Reducing speed on highways

The Remkes commission has recommended for the speed on national and provincial roads to be reduced as soon as possible. Currently, the speed limit on these roads is 130 km/h. Although lowering this will increase journey times, it will drastically improve traffic flow, which will reduce the amount of nitrogen emitted. Also, studies have shown that the optimum speed for fuel efficiency is 70km/hr: so when these new speed limits arrive, you can expect to save both the planet and your money!

Further advice for the aviation and shipping industries, freight transport and public transport is to be expected by May 2020. Forumla 1 may also be in danger.

Regulations for freight transport are expected next year. Source: Pixabay

Cleaning up farms

A second recommendation by the Remkes commission is to clean up out of date and polluting farms, and generally shut down livestock farms located close to Natura 2000 areas. Remkes, a member of the VVD, has dismissed a proposal by D66 to halve the number of pigs and chickens in the Netherlands, saying that it would not sit well with the livestock sector, and would unfairly penalise farmers who are attempting to be more environmentally friendly. The key is a targeted approach, focusing on farms that are producing more emissions, according to Remkes, who also suggests that the government fund innovation to make farming more environmentally friendly.

What do you think about a reduction in speed limits on regional and national roads? And should we get rid of half the chickens and pigs in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below. 

This article’s featured image is by Anthony Malefijt. If you’d like to see more of his photos, have a look at these stunning ones of Rotterdam!

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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