Dutch farmers’ revolt against tough climate law is just the start, experts say: ‘There will be unrest everywhere’

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A series of farmer-led protests against a government climate rule in the Netherlands could be the start of a global movement, according to experts interviewed by Fox News Digital.

The Dutch government released a plan in June for reductions in nitrogen emissions, largely targeting the country’s agricultural industry which produces an outsized share of those emissions, according to a report by the US Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FSA). of Agriculture. The government, however, has directly acknowledged that “there is no future for all” farmers to continue farming under the proposal.


In response, farmers across the country have reportedly taken to the streets in recent weeks, blocking roads to airports and deliveries to food distribution depots. A State Department spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital that the United States is monitoring the situation and encouraging the two sides to reach an agreement quickly.

“I really understand their anger,” Marcel Crok, a Dutch science writer and co-founder of the Climate Intelligence Foundation, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “Farmers are also angry because they say, ‘we are the only sector to whom we owe all the blame.’ what about the industry what about the traffic maybe we should just ban all cars in the netherlands because they also emit [nitrogen].”

“This plan means concretely that in certain areas, farmers must reduce their nitrogen emissions by 70%,” he continued. “That means they just have to quit.”


The proposal to sharply reduce nitrogen emissions is linked to a 2019 Dutch court ruling requiring the country’s government to take more aggressive action to reduce nitrogen emissions. The Netherlands, however, has heavily regulated farm emissions since the 1990s and farmers have largely complied with those rules, Crok said.

The Netherlands emits a large amount of nitrogen due to its massive agricultural industry which accounts for around 87% of the country’s 124 million kilograms of annual ammonia emissions, according to the FSA report. According to World Bank data, the country exported $26.8 billion in food despite having a relatively small population compared to other major producers.

“It is not very rational to put the brakes on Dutch agriculture if you realize that they have the highest production per acre in the world and therefore the environmental load per kilogram of food is lower than elsewhere” , Dutch journalist and chemist Simon Rozendaal told Fox. Digital News. “So in a sense, Dutch agriculture is a benefit for the climate as well as for biodiversity.”

Experts also argued that the actions of farmers in the Netherlands mimicked previous protests around the world and could foreshadow similar uprisings against government excesses. For example, the so-called “yellow vests” movement in France began as a protest against the increase in fuel taxes nationwide.


“It’s literally communism,” Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek told Fox News Digital in an interview. “If the state says, ‘we’re going to strip you of your private property for the good of all,’ then the state has the prerogative to create crises to strip you of your rights. That’s what’s happening here.”

Vlaardingerbroek said farmers’ reaction to the government’s actions should “absolutely” be a wake-up call to other governments pursuing similar programs.

“It will definitely affect ordinary civilians,” she continued. “It’s part of a global program, so everyone in the world, especially Western countries, should be aware that it’s not just the Dutch government. It’s part of the ‘2030 agenda’, it is part of the ‘super reset.'”

Similar protests could soon unfold in the UK and parts of the European Union where natural gas and energy costs are near historic highs, according to Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, based in London. In the United Kingdom, the price increase is expected to plunge 24% of households, or approximately 6.5 million households, into energy poverty.

“The problem is that despite this growing energy crisis in Europe, some governments are still prioritizing the climate agenda that makes energy more and more expensive, or that forces farmers to close their farms because it is the top priority, again, for a number of governments,” Peiser told Fox News Digital in an interview. “All this green agenda comes with huge burdens.”

“The Dutch are driven mad by these policies because they are killing their businesses and the farmers are fighting back massively,” he said. “That’s what’s going to happen all over Europe. I have no doubt that when winter comes and millions of families can no longer heat their homes or pay their bills, there will be unrest all over Europe. ‘Europe.”

Protesters, many carrying Sri Lankan flags, gather outside the president’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Saturday. (AP Photo/Thilina Kaluthotage)
(AP Photo/Thilina Kaluthotage)

Furthermore, over the weekend, thousands of Sri Lankan citizens stormed the private residence of the country’s prime minister, forcing him and the country’s president to resign. Protesters were reportedly angry over the ongoing economic downturn and fuel shortages.

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted that the Sri Lankan government has also banned chemical fertilizers that environmentalists have accused of polluting water. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the country’s now ousted president, remarked that these products had “adverse effects on health and the environment” during a speech at a United Nations conference last year.


“Of course all crop yields have collapsed, they have no tea to sell because the tea crop is so low,” Ebell told Fox News Digital. “So they have no income to buy things from abroad and their own food production for people to eat in Sri Lanka is not there. They are starving.”

“This is all the result of a government decision to limit access to commercial fertilizers,” he added. “There is a connection with the Dutch movement because it’s about ‘you have to start consuming less’.”

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