EU offers more environmental concessions to farmers as tractor protests grow louder

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The European Union’s executive body has proposed further weakening of climate and environmental measures in the EU’s latest concessions to farmers who appear keen to continue destructive tractor protests until June’s EU elections.

Infuriated by environmentalists in the 27 EU member states, the European Commission proposed further easing of rules imposed on agriculture, which most recently blocked the country from becoming climate-neutral by 2050. It was claimed that it would be useful for strategy. A pioneer in the fight against climate change.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that she would “maintain food security in the EU and continue to firmly support farmers who are on the front lines of fighting climate change and the environment.” He insisted that global climate change targets remain the same.

The proposal would weaken or reduce the conditions for a more climate-friendly agricultural transition in areas such as crop rotation, cover protection and tillage practices. Smallholder farmers, who make up about two-thirds of the workforce and are the most active in protests across the continent, will be exempt from some regulations and penalties under the new rules.

Politically, the bloc has moved to the right over the past year. The plight of farmers has become a rallying cry for populists and conservatives who argue that the EU’s climate change and agricultural policies are nothing more than bureaucratic blunders by elite politicians who have lost touch with the soil and the land. Von der Leyen’s Christian Democratic European People’s Party is one of the most vocal and powerful parties in defending the peasant cause.

“I’d actually call this populism,” Green Party MP Thomas Waites said, adding that the European Commission’s proposals are part of the EU’s much-vaunted Green Deal to achieve climate neutrality. He said that he will take a deep dive into the efforts of “They are now trying to deflect the anger of local farmers and use it as a means to oppose the Green Deal.”

But scientists and environmentalists around the world say drastic measures are needed to prevent global warming from worsening, and list Europe as one of the places with the poorest prospects.

The commission’s proposal still needs approval from member states, but given the concessions made so far, it has a good chance of being accepted quickly, observers said.

The European Commission said that although more flexible measures for farmers are now being proposed, overall EU climate change targets remain in place.

“We are the first continent to make a binding legal commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Not only have we achieved it, we have actually put our roadmap to 2030 into law and ensure that we achieve climate neutrality,” said European Commission spokesperson Eric Mummer. We are on the right path to achieving that goal. ”

He insisted Friday’s proposal does not depart from that commitment, although “it is clear that we will adapt from time to time to changing circumstances.”

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