400 Million extra for Clean and Emission-free Building
The government has identified new measures in tackling nitrogen problems. It is making an extra 400 million euros available for the Clean and Emission-Free Building programme.
It is also setting up a Clean and Emission-Free Building Task Force. Within the task force, governments, market players and knowledge institutes are to map out how to accelerate making construction more sustainable.
Building plans delayed
Earlier this month, a decision by the Council of State had a dramatic impact on the sector. It ruled that construction projects will no longer automatically receive permission to temporarily emit nitrogen. Since then, builders have had to submit many new reports and calculations to prove that realisation of a project will not contribute to extra nitrogen emissions. As a result, many construction plans are delayed and costs are higher. To get out of the nitrogen impasse, the government wants to offer farmers in the vicinity of protected nature areas a one-off scheme to stop voluntarily. At the same time, it is keeping the option of forced buyouts of large nitrogen emitters in reserve. If in autumn 2023 it turns out that all other measures have not helped to meet nitrogen targets, nitrogen minister Christianne van der Wal sees no other way out than coercion.
Ensure that planned construction projects can go ahead without delay.
'We can make a major contribution to the cabinet's ambitions with little nitrogen space,' stressed Bouwend Nederland chairman Maxime Verhagen. 'Meanwhile, ensure that planned construction projects can go ahead without delay.' Bouwend Nederland now wants quick clarity on when everything will be settled and nitrogen space will again be available for the construction sector.
According to Verhagen, the focus is now finally 'really' on reducing nitrogen emissions and the cabinet is finally getting round the table with the aforementioned peak loaders. Bouwend Nederland is positive about the cabinet's new nitrogen measures. As a result, the end of the nitrogen impasse in the construction industry is said to be in sight.
Extra subsidy needed for cleaner equipment
Verhagen also stressed the importance of extra subsidies for the purchase of cleaner construction equipment. Construction companies need certainty before accelerating large investments. The speed of this transition therefore depends on the government's financial incentive for accelerated depreciation of existing construction equipment and the purchase of electricity- or hydrogen-powered machinery. Only by prioritising the release of nitrogen space for the construction sector, speeding up the licensing of planned projects and subsidising the purchase of cleaner building materials can the government achieve its own ambitions in housing construction, energy transition and mobility, Bouwend Nederland argues.