John Phipps: Is the Outrage By Dutch Farmers Now Being Heard by the World Enough to Prevent Policy Changes?
By U.S. Farm Report
via FarmJournal's Pork - August 2, 2022
As if record-breaking heat wasn’t enough to trigger tempers, Europe and especially the Netherlands have been dealing with an increasingly incendiary political situation pitting the country’s farmers against EU government plans to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030.
The major target is nitrous oxides, of which agriculture contributes about half. But Dutch farmers, who are an ag exporting power behind only the U.S., contend the efforts will force many producers out of business – perhaps as many as 30 percent. This may be conservative.
Protests, which began three years ago, have intensified with tractor blockades of major roads and city centers. In addition, farmers are demanding more positive media coverage, and predictably, more government aid.
They also are pointing fingers of blame at other EU countries and companies like Shell and Tata Steel. Unusual for Europe, a few shots have been fired by police at protestors, but most demonstrations were relatively orderly, if angry. All this resentment and outrage by farmers faces two formidable hurdles to resolution.
The first is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) whose large subsidies to agriculture has made them economically dependent. Now the series of heat waves which have been scorching the continent with growing frequency over the last two decades, is setting all-time records this summer across Europe.
With environmental political parties in the Greens possessing considerable clout, and not enough air-conditioning, public opinion has not been overwhelmingly sympathetic to farmers...
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