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European Farmer Protests Against Climate Policies Continue To Spread

European Farmer Protests Against Climate Policies Continue To Spread

In an enduring display of dissent that has spanned several months, agricultural protests across Europe show no signs of stopping.

On Feb. 26, a massive procession of tractors converged on the European Union (EU) building in Spain, marking a continued opposition to Agenda 2030, a plan developed by the United Nations (UN) to implement more than a dozen sustainable development goals under the premise of fighting climate change.

Farmers in the northeastern Catalonia region also engaged in large-scale demonstrations, which brought the AP-7 motorway to a standstill in both directions.

The Unió de Pagesos, one of the farmers’ unions leading the protests, declared in a statement that the civil disruptions will continue for at least two more days in order to “maintain pressure” on state government and political forces in Europe.

Farmers across Europe have been protesting what they say are restrictive climate change policies that have resulted in higher financial burdens and products that are more expensive than imported food.

One of Agenda 2030’s key goals is to re-shape global food systems. During a 2021 UN Food Summit, officials outlined a key tenet, which was that “everyone, everywhere must take action and work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food,” according to a statement about the event.

Critics, such as award winning, international journalist Alex Newman, argue that the initiative's push for public-private partnerships veers toward a model of food production, threatening the fabric of traditional farming communities.

“They want to remove small farmers, even medium farmers, from their land, and they want to bring it all under the control of these — I think there’s no other term to describe it — fascistic public-private partnerships,” said Newman, who has covered this issue for more than a decade.

Spain is not the only European nation still feeling pressure from farmers.

Beyond Spain, the wave of protests has swept across Poland, where thousands have taken to the streets of Warsaw to voice their opposition to the EU's Green Deal. The Polish demonstrators are calling for an abandonment of what they view as prohibitively expensive climate measures and are demanding a halt to the importation of Ukrainian grain, which they argue undermines local market prices.

Polish farmer protests have been ongoing, and have featured not only vehicles lining streets, but hay and wood being dumped into the streets in protest.

European countries that have now joined the farmers protest include Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Belgium, France, Scotland, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Czech Republic, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales.

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