ONTARIO — Farmer unrest in Europe is growing as politicians ratchet up environmental restrictions on them. In 2022, European farmer protests jumped 30 % over 2021 — led by the Netherlands — according to Verisk Maplecroft, a consulting firm specializing in risk assessment and data analytics.
Dutch plans to cut agricultural emissions in half by 2030 triggered farmer protests in the Netherlands, which spread to other countries on the continent, including Greece, France and Italy.
The protests and tractorcades are having an impact in the halls of power. The “likelihood” of more protests will be a “key consideration” for policymakers that continue to target agriculture, the consultancy cautions in a press release that nonetheless blames farmers for “mounting climate impacts.”
The firm deems agriculture as “the highest risk sector for both deforestation and CO2 emissions from energy use,” with leading agricultural exporter countries “among the worst offenders.”
Without a hint of irony, the authors observe that only a significant reduction in global food and energy prices can lower the risk of civil unrest.
Beyond the agricultural scene in Europe, the world experienced an “unprecedented rise” in civil unrest last year thanks to rising food and energy prices.