Dutch Farmers Topple Agriculture Minister Leading Radical Climate Agenda
by Frank Bergman
The Netherlands’ agricultural minister Henk Staghouwer has been forced to resign following widespread protests from Dutch farmers over his radical climate agenda that seeks to destroy their livelihoods.
Staghouwer was leading the Dutch agriculture ministry’s climate policy that involved confiscating farms in a forced government buy-out scheme.
In the wake of the huge protests from farmers, Staghouwer has now been forced to step down.
He told the Dutch cabinet that pushback from farmers had meant he would not be able to meet a September deadline for rolling out the government’s radical green policy, the AP reported.
The climate agenda involves cutting nitrogen emissions from the nation’s farming sector to the point where it made it impossible for farms to continue operating.
The initiative includes a $24.2 billion scheme to buy out local farmers and facilitate the transition away from intensive farming practices.
The push provoked mass demonstrations by farmers across the continent.
“Farmers and fishermen need certainty,” Staghouwer said in a statement to his ministry Monday evening, NL Times reported.
The farming sector faced a massive upheaval due to emissions reduction goals, he added.
In July, over 40,000 farmers took to the streets in protest of the policy, blocking roads with tractors and defacing government officials’ homes.
Sympathizers elsewhere in Europe staged protests in solidarity with the Dutch farmers, arguing that such a policy is counterproductive amid highly elevated inflation levels and food shortages.
“I asked myself the question, ‘Am I the right person as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to lead the tasks that lie ahead?’,” Staghouwer said after nine months in office, according to NL Times.
“Last weekend, I came to the conclusion that I am not that person.”
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Published on September 7, 2022