World

Dutch Government To Seize And Close 3,000 Farms To Comply With EU Environmental Rules

Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images

James Lynch Reporter
Font Size:

*Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a comment from the Executive Director of Consumers’ Research

The Dutch government is planning to buy and close down up to 3,000 farms near environmentally sensitive areas to be in compliance with EU environmental rules.

It comes after farmer protests erupted this summer following a government plan to reduce nitrogen emissions by 50% by 2030, The New York Times reported. Farmers believe the measure unfairly targeted the agricultural sector, which is responsible for the largest portion of nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands, the Times added.

The government will conduct a “compulsory purchase” of large nitrogen emitters as part of a voluntary, one-time offer, announced Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal, Bloomberg reported. Farmers will be offered a deal “well over” the value of the farm, according to the government plan. She asserted “there is no better offer coming” in a Friday meeting with MPs.

In response to the decision, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research Will Hild told the Daily Caller “The Netherland’s war on farmers to pursue their ESG agenda serves as a stark warning. Americans should be vigilant against efforts by both governments and big Wall Street firms like BlackRock pushing these same dangerous “net zero” carbon emissions targets here in the US. It is difficult to overstate the recklessness of undermining farmers during the greatest global food crisis in decades. This will likely exacerbate the food price inflation we are already experiencing.”

A political party called BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), or Farmer-Citizen movement, has embraced the protests and currently ranks fourth in polls ahead of next year’s elections, The Guardian reported. Reforming the “nitrogen law” will be the primary goal of the party, which has positioned itself as a voice for the needy, The Guardian claimed. (RELATED: Europe’s Energy Ministers In Deadlock As Millions Face Costly Winter)

The Netherlands has become the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products after the United States, and provides vegetables for much of western Europe, Washington Post reported. Over half of Dutch land is used for agriculture in addition to 24,000 acres worth of crops growing in greenhouses, the Post specified.

Despite limited land and a rainy climate, agricultural innovation geared towards less water usage and reduced carbon emissions has enabled the Netherlands to become a major exporter of agricultural and food technology, the Post explained.