European Countries Ditching Green Measures After Weeks of Farmers Protesting

What Happened:

For weeks, farmers have been out protesting EU climate policies meant to slash carbon and nitrogen emissions. The farmers have made headway as European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announced they are withdrawing the bill that slashes the use of chemical pesticides and nitrogen output by 2030. She also announced that they would hold consultations with the farmers instead of sweeping bans.

Along with concern over the climate, many leaders are also concerned with the rise of “far-right” parties that have embraced angry farmers. Even with appeasing the farmers by dropping climate policies, people fear it may not be enough to bring them back into the center-right.

The Details:

The European elections are set to look very different as the Europeans are set to punish the Green Party, which could lose up to one-third of its 72 seats. This “greenlash” has come from weeks of debate on the enforcement of climate policies. Parties that supported the policies are trying to rapidly realign their positions on how quickly the laws are adopted. The far-right parties have taken the opportunity to get extra voters and attack Von der Leyen for how quickly she backed down on the policies.

Moving past the politics, even with the concessions made for the farmers, they are still faced with falling incomes, rising prices, and rising taxes. Both the EU and the individual countries are reevaluating how to approach their climate policies in a way that helps farmers, but they are still looking to make cuts to emissions in different areas.

Some of the unchanged policies are still damaging farmers. The import of livestock and produce from countries without climate policies has made it impossible for European farmers to sell their products in their own markets. Farmers concerns about being competitive against Ukrainian farms have also been a topic of discussion, as the average Ukrainian farm is far larger than the average European farm.

What’s Next:

The future is hard to predict, especially with elections getting underway. The German and Dutch elections have already shown that climate friendly parties may lose some seats to far-right parties that adopted farmers during their protests. The EU laid out more climate policies for 2040 and is still aiming for 90% reductions in emissions.

Although protests have slowed down, they have not ceased. More about the protests here.

Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.

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