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Europe tried it green and failed: ‘The architect of the European Green Deal has resigned, & next year’s EU elections are announcing a shift away from environmentalist ideas”

by Bill Wirtz

Nearly 300 votes against, only 207 in favor: Those were the final results of a vote in the European Parliament on the “Sustainable Use of Pesticides” directive, the landmark legislation of the European Union’s agriculture reforms. The plans would have cut back on pesticide and fertilizer use, as well as shifted a major part of Europe’s farmland use to organic. Now, the plans are all but dead, the architect of the European Green Deal has resigned, and next year’s EU elections are announcing a shift away from environmentalist ideas.

The name “European Green Deal” was modeled after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal, and it promises cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and healthier lifestyles for consumers. But it does so at a significant expense to taxpayers and the economy. With an implementation price tag of $285 billion, the EU did not account for the ripple effects of the policy, ignoring its impact assessments.

Another weight on existing inequalities will be rising energy prices for consumers. As the German energy shift has shown already, a quick change to renewable energy sources, arrived through subsidization programs, sharply increases consumer energy prices. Prices of energy, housing, and water are all projected to rise. Some energy sources could see price rises of over 70%. Employment in key energy sectors, including gas and coal, could drop by more than 15%, affecting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

As cuts to greenhouse gas emissions have become mandatory, the Dutch government sought to buy out livestock farmers from their professions, causing the now famous Dutch farmer protests last year. These protests not only caused a farmer’s party to win the Senate elections in the Netherlands, but they also contributed to the resignation of the government this year. The pushback against Brussels’s green policies has many parliamentarians in fear for their reelection for next year’s European Parliament vote in June 2024. Overall, polls show that the EU’s legislative body is expected to see a right-wing shift, with losses for social democrats and environmentalists alike.