Gone are rules to force reduction of nitrogen (essential for fertilizers), methane (generated by cattle), plans to persuade Europeans to eat less meat, and new pesticide rules.
The last time we checked on the farmers’ protests in Europe, farmers in Belgium had surrounded the European Parliament area and had a special message for Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The demonstrators, who were focused on the green rule-making that has hindered the profitability of European agriculturalists, had a special message for the head of the agency: “Ursula, we are here!”
It appears the continent-wide demonstrations have made an impact, as the commission is rolling out some of its unrealistic green plans for a global utopia. Gone, for example, are rules to force the reduction of nitrogen (essential for fertilizers), methane (generated by cattle), and plans to persuade European citizens to eat less meat.
The European Union has caved in to angry protests from farmers, cutting its target to scrap specific agricultural emissions which formed part of the bloc’s net zero drive.
A demand to reduce nitrogen, methane and other emissions linked to farming by almost a third has been removed from a wider Brussels plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent by 2040.
On Tuesday, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, offered a further concession to demonstrating farmers by dropping her controversial proposal to halve pesticide use within six years.
A recommendation urging EU citizens to eat less meat was also removed from the plan.
The concessions came amid mounting demonstrations by farmers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Romania ahead of this year’s EU elections.
The commission has also intended to implement very ambitious rules that would have forced the reduction of pesticide use by 50%. Those plans have also been scrapped.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday proposed withdrawing the EU’s plan to halve the use of pesticides, calling it a “symbol of polarisation” as regional farmers protested over rising costs and other factors.
“Our farmers deserve to be listened to,” Von der Leyen told the European Parliament.
“I know that they are worried about the future of agriculture and their future as farmers. But they also know that agriculture needs to move to a more sustainable model of production so that their farms remain profitable in the years to come.”
European farmers have protested in recent weeks against rising costs, taxes, cheap food imports and constraints due to the EU’s drive to fight climate change.
European farmers’ lobby COPA-COGECA welcomed Von der Leyen’s remarks.
“The EU Commission finally acknowledges that its approach was not the right one, and so strengthens the credibility and importance of the current strategic dialogue”, the lobby’s president Christiane Lambert said in a post on social media platform X.
However, the farmers should not put away their tractors or signs quite yet. The European Union President says that new plans (likely to be developed after this next set of European elections) will be…. “more mature.”
Despite the news, von der Leyen stressed the issue of regulating pesticides, whose carbon footprint stems from their manufacture, transport and application, would remain on the agenda and could be subject to a “new proposal much more mature.”
However, due to the tight schedule imposed by the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, the fresh draft will be the task of the next Commission.
I suggest that the farmers who have been protesting follow the Dutch model, and send to the European Parliament people whose agenda aligns with normal people who enjoy plentiful food that is tasty, nutritious, inexpensive….and doesn’t come from a lab.
I was a guest on the Canto Talk show this week. Host Silvio Canto, Jr., and I discuss the farmers’ protests and how the tide is turning toward saner green energy policies. The European farmers’ victory here underscores that a successful counter-offensive to the extreme eco-activism has begun.DONATE
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