Farmers in the Netherlands set hay ablaze and dumped manure on major highways Wednesday in their ongoing protests against the government’s planned climate regulations.
The farmers caused the disruptions to voice opposition to The Hague’s plans to reduce emissions produced from livestock by 2030, Politico reported. The protests have spread across Europe: in Germany farmers blocked the Netherlands’ border, protesting an amendment set to increase reliance on renewable energy to 100% by 2025.
Dutch farmers’ protest continue day and night unabated. Tonight on the A50 motorway in Apeldoorn. Dutch farmers are not joking. pic.twitter.com/A6zCGYLsJe
— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) July 27, 2022
Over 40,000 farmers have been out in the streets in July, where they have dumped hay and manure outside of government officials’ homes and on highways and major infrastructure. The government issued a statement in June announcing many farmers will have to go out of business due to the new climate legislation that is expected to pass.
Dutch farmers believe the government is being “arrogant” and ignoring farmers’ key concerns, as it is projected that 11,200 livestock farms will have to shut down and 17,600 farmers will have to reduce their livestock populations, according to Politico.
“We do not know what the economic impact will be, we do not know what the social and cultural impact will be on the countryside,” Wytse Sonnema, head of communications for LTO Netherlands, the country’s agriculture and horticulture organization, said according to Politico. “It goes beyond farming. This will impact not just the farm and agricultural sector, but the whole agricultural eco-system that surrounds it, and by extension the entire countryside.” (RELATED: Cafe Brings Out Beer For Dutch Farmers Protesting In Show Of Solidarity)
Former President Donald Trump voiced his support for the farmers’ protests during a speech earlier in July. In the speech, the former president applauded the Dutch protesters for “courageously” standing up against the government’s climate initiatives.
“Farmers in the Netherlands, of all places, are courageously opposing the climate tyranny of the Dutch government, — can you believe this? — which wants to dramatically cut Dutch farm production despite growing food shortages,” Trump said in the speech.
The legislation holds a majority of support in parliament, though it has not yet passed, Politico reported. Members of parliament are waiting to hear from a newly appointed mediator, Johan Remkes, who is meant to seek common ground between the government and the farmers.
“We [will] hear what they [the farmers] have to say, and then we [will] move forward,” a spokesperson with the Dutch nature and nitrogen ministry said, according to the outlet.