Video Duration 24 minutes 30 seconds
From: Inside Story

Will efforts to stop nitrogen pollution harm farmers?

Farmers in the Netherlands are protesting against plans to shut down farms to reduce nitrogen emissions.

Agriculture accounts for nearly 27 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions that are harming our environment.

As the world tries to cut back on pollutants to save the planet, people’s source of food could be affected.

Soil and fertilisers release nitrogen that has proven to be a much stronger cause of climate change than carbon dioxide.

The excess gas often goes into waterways and contaminates drinking supplies. It is also released into the air, polluting skies and putting people’s health at risk.

The Netherlands is one of many nations that has taken measures to reduce nitrogen pollution and a number of farms may have to be closed down. And that has angered many Dutch farmers who protested against the plan on Wednesday.

So what will this mean for the future of farming in the Netherlands and elsewhere?

Presenter: Kim Vinnell


Sjaak van der Tak – Former mayor of Westland, Netherlands and chairman of the Netherlands Agricultural and Horticultural Association

Hilde Anna de Vries – Campaigner for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity at Greenpeace Netherlands

Richard Tiffin – Former director of the Centre for Food Security at the University of Reading and chief scientific officer at Agrimetrics.