The Nitrogen Action Programme (PAS) was launched in order to realise nature policy goals in the Netherlands and, within the framework of these goals, to also facilitate economic development. Nitrogen is a nutrient for plants, but too much nitrogen can cause damage to nature and reduce biodiversity.
By implementing existing policy and taking additional measures to reduce nitrogen emissions, new economic activities would be possible within the framework of the PAS subject to specific conditions. One condition is that measures are taken to maintain or strengthen the quality of the natural environment. The PAS went into effect on 1 July 2015.
At the request of the PAS Agency, RIVM submits an annual report on the expected developments with regard to the emission and deposition for the reference years 2020 and 2030 in comparison to the PAS reference year 2014. The reason for the interim report at hand is the availability of new information on the habitats of species. As a result, the number of locations where the expected deposition is monitored has been increased by 50%. The expansion and addition of habitats to the Nitrogen Action Programme has provided additional insight into the habitats of plants and animals that are sensitive to nitrogen. This expansion of the monitoring methodology has not made it necessary to modify the conclusions already presented in the previous M16 report regarding the trends in emission and deposition.
Compared to 2014, a slight increase in the emission of nitrogen oxide is projected until 2020 as a result of the growth of maritime shipping and industry. Over the longer term, between 2020 and 2030, a decrease in emissions of 43 kilotonnes is expected, in part due to reduced emissions from traffic. The calculated emission of ammonia is expected to decrease by 12 kilotonnes between 2014 and 2030. Between 2014, the PAS reference year, and 2030, the calculated nitrogen deposition (nitrogen oxides and ammonia) is expected to decrease by 15%.