Dutch dairy farmers will soon be able to buy and sell the right to release phosphate into the environment, just as industrial plants can trade permits for CO2 pollution in the EU emissions trading system, after the European Commission gave the green light to the scheme this week.
“The new system will enter into force on 1 January 2018, when dairy farms will be awarded phosphate rights for free and will only be allowed to produce phosphate from dairy cattle manure corresponding to the phosphate production rights they hold,” the EU executive said after concluding that the scheme does not constitute state aid.
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