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CDA and VVD do not seem to want the polluter to pay, but for the polluter to be paid.
There was a clever proposal from the TAPP Coalition that could bring farmers a lot of money and solve problems. And that consumers can potentially pay budget neutrally for more plant-based protein alternatives, such as beans and veggie burgers. As it stands now, that plan can in any case be thrown into the trash during this cabinet term. The result: there will be another study.
Please note: 80% of the biodiversity in the Netherlands has disappeared over the past 125 years due to, among other things, nitrogen emissions from the meat industry. A climate disaster with tropical temperatures in Antarctica is unfolding before our eyes, partly due to methane emissions. And a climate famine in East Africa. And in and around the countryside people suffer from lung diseases, due to ammonia emissions and particulate matter from cattle droppings.
It is a pity that VVD and CDA do talk a lot about the need to become more sustainable, have also recruited and won voters on this and really want and do small things, but always stay away from adjustments that improve the fundamentals of the economy, whereby existing, old interests are at stake.
What do they want in terms of meat pollution? The solutions of the VVD and CDA are disproportionately superficial. For example, Derk Boswijk prefers to ‘stimulate awareness’; which in itself rarely works for these kinds of urgent problems. And it is ironic, now that tens of millions of EU subsidies are being used to boost meat consumption.
Where do these two parties unpack? In the coming years they will give 25 billion euros to a nitrogen fund. And 35 billion euros to a climate fund. But here it is still unclear how this will lead to biodiversity recovery or mitigation of climate change. And how we prevent these from becoming subsidies for polluting companies again.
Such subsidies lead to a shift of budget from and for, among others, low-income groups and more sustainable entrepreneurs, to often very wealthy companies that are mainly focused on export and are simply very harmful to people, the environment and society. This is unfair, at the expense of education, police or healthcare. And no incentives for companies not to pollute.
This is yet another example where CDA and VVD do not seem to want the polluter to pay, but for the polluter to be paid. And that more sustainable, meat-free entrepreneurs and consumers contribute significantly to the temporary repair of polluters.
If we do not tackle the perverse tax policy, among other things, we will continue to mop with the tap. And the substantial funds will become a kind of welfare state for polluting companies.
Fortunately, D66, GroenLinks and Party of the Animals are in favor of and focused on a fair, entrepreneurial sustainability of the economy.