Through the European Green Deal, European bureaucrats are ignoring citizen opposition in deindustrializing Western Europe and reducing its agricultural production.

They’re using climate laws to attempt to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The agricultural policy provisions of these laws—the euphemistically named Farm to Fork Strategy—have European farmers uniting in protest like never before.  

These laws are driving up food prices and reducing agricultural jobs while having practically no effect on the planet’s temperature. Using calculations from government models, even if the European Union had no emissions at all, it would only make a difference of 0.13 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

The European Union strategy would devastate farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that the EU strategy’s goals of reducing farmland by 10%, fertilizer by 20%, and pesticides and antimicrobials by 50% would reduce total EU agricultural production by at least 12% and force reliance on agricultural imports from counties with lax environmental standards.

The global effects of such a strategy would be catastrophic. Germany, which has a carbon emission reduction target of 65% from 1990 levels, is the world’s third-largest agricultural exporter, the largest EU milk exporter, and the second-largest EU wheat exporter. According to 2020 calculations by the USDA, implementing the strategy solely within the EU would cause a global economic loss of $80 billion, with 22 million people becoming food insecure worldwide.

If their policies were copied worldwide, there would be global economic loss of $200 billion, and 185 million people would become food insecure worldwide.

Germans have already felt the consequences of these policies as the price indexes for meat, bread, and automotive fuel have increased by 34%, 28%, and 29%, respectively, since January 2020. Furthermore, the cost of motor fuels may increase further if fuel subsidies are ended.

In response, German farmers, such as Anthony Lee, have blocked roads to protest the mounting price increases and to stand in solidarity with similar protests across the EU.

Led by the Farmers Defense Force, Dutch agricultural protests started in response to the Dutch National Energy and Climate Plan, which proposes drastic reductions in farming. As the world’s second-largest agriculture exporter, the Netherlands farming industry is facing severe curtailment while bureaucrats debate whether a farmer can have two or three cows per hectare because of bovine methane emissions.

The Dutch government plans to forcibly buy out 3,000 farms to achieve the mandated 30% reduction in livestock. Having the highest density of livestock in the world with more than 50% of the land devoted to agriculture, the Netherlands and its farmers would suffer significant economic losses from these policies.

In response, the Farmers Defense Force has blockaded highways since 2019 in opposition to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s compliance with the EU’s greener energy policies.

Despite blocking roads and airports, leading to more than 700 traffic fines and 100 farmers being arrested, the Farmers Defense Force has seen increasing political support. Following the emergence of the Farmers Citizen Movement within the Dutch Senate, the 2023 elections saw the movement secure 15 of the 75 seats available, which is the largest share of seats in the legislative body.

Across France, the Young Farmers, the National Federation of Farmers Unions, and the Confederation Paysanne have spearheaded protests against EU agricultural policies, including the Farm to Fork Strategy.

French farmers are particularly troubled by the EU’s pending trade agreement with the South American trade union Mercosur.  

Currently, Latin American countries are limited in their exports to the EU. Under the proposed trade agreement, the EU, including France, would receive agricultural imports from Latin America free of tariffs, undercutting European farmers.

French farmers fear that such a trade agreement would create double standards where domestic products must meet strict environmental regulations while cheap imports do not.  

Similar to German and Durch protests, French protests have disrupted traffic by strategically disposing of agricultural waste onto roads. With the rollback of a recent pesticide ban, many French farmers are celebrating their recent achievement of finally being heard.

The European Green Deal and its Farm to Fork Strategy are making food more costly and attack the very foundation of European agriculture. Stringent mandates from Brussels override the autonomy of member states and the expertise of the European farming community.

These burdensome policies and the climate alarmism that underlies them have given rise to political movements fighting against the EU’s supranational authority. As one Flemish farmer said while demonstrating outside the EU Parliament in Brussels, “I’m a victim of the [EU’s] regulation soup and the tyranny coming from the [EU’s] ivory towers.”

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