EU Farmers Protest Crippling Climate Restrictions

Farmers from 10 of the 27 European Union (EU) nations drove their tractors to various border crossings in protest of crippling climate policies, as well as other EU actions harmful to their profession. Front and center among EU anti-agriculture directives has been the “Green Deal,” which imposes severe limits on “greenhouse gas emissions” and chemicals critical for farming.

Hundreds of tractors blocked roads throughout the EU. Farmers from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and other nations participated. In the Czech Republic alone, as many as 3,000 tractors joined in the blockades.

Some sympathetic government officials joined in the grassroots event, including the agriculture ministers of both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

One of the concerns is the low price of duty-free grain imports from Ukraine and Latin America, whose farmers do not face onerous climate restrictions. Green Deal regulations limiting the use of pesticides and fertilizers have increased the cost of agriculture in the EU and made their farmers’ products much more expensive.

EU regulations also place crippling restrictions on cattle, pig, and poultry farms of more than 150 livestock units. That impacts 184,000 farms across the EU. These sorts of constraints are what have driven EU farmers to the streets in the current protests.

Another burden of the EU climate bureaucracy is the ponderous amount of paperwork foisted on farmers. Andrej Gajdos of the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) spoke to the crowd at the Czech-Slovak border: “We are farmers, we want to work in the field… we don’t want to fill out paperwork and sit at the computer.”

A statement from the Czech Agrarian Chamber supported the farmers’ concerns: “The fact that today farmers are protesting throughout the European Union is clear evidence that it is essential to address the redefinition of the terms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).”

The imagery usually associated with “climate change” consists of smokestacks and industry. Family-run farms would be among the most climate-friendly endeavors envisioned by the average person. But radical environmental activists are not just targeting sport utility vehicles anymore. Methane gas emissions from livestock and their grazing fields are now considered just as much of an existential threat to the planet as coal-fired power plants.

One wonders how climate activists plan to address the gas emissions of arctic caribou herds, which can exceed half a million in number.