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Nordic nitrogen and agriculture

Policy, measures and recommendations to reduce environmental impact

image of Nordic nitrogen and agriculture

The Nordic countries have, during the last 20 years, introduced efficient measures to reduce nitrogen losses to the environment. Still, nitrogen losses from the agricultural sector are high. In this report we provide recommendations on strategies and policy instruments to achieve cost effective abatement of reactive nitrogen from agriculture in the Nordic countries.This report is based on a literature review. Additional input was also obtained from discussions at a workshop held in Gothenburg in January 2017. The workshop made it possible for experts from the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to come together and discuss and compare policies and mitigation measures regarding nitrogen and agriculture. During the workshop we identified a number of policy challenges, policy actions and also knowledge gaps where further research is needed.

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Measures, synergies and trade-offs

During the last 20 years, the Nordic countries have introduced efficient measures to reduce nitrogen loss to the environment. Still, N losses are relatively high as compared to the policy targets set, despite the regulatory framework applicable to the agricultural sector at EU and national level to restrict adverse environmental impacts. The Nordic countries are at very different stages with regard to nitrogen abatement. Denmark for instance has already cut nitrogen losses by 50%. All the Nordic countries have regulations on the spreading, storing and use of manure, with Denmark having the most stringent regulations.

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