Thousands of Belgian farmers from the northern region of Flanders parked tractors in the CBD of the capital, Brussels, on Friday in a protest against a new regional government plan to limit nitrogen emissions.
Many tractors, about 2 700, were decorated with big signs reflecting the farmers’ anger, according to Reuters.
Agricultural organisations said in a joint statement that the nitrogen agreement as it now stands “will cause a socio-economic carnage“. They wanted the agreement to better reflect future prospects for the farming sector. Watch the video below:
Livestock and heavy use of fertilizers, as well as traffic and construction, have led to levels of nitrogen oxides in the air and water in both Belgium and the Netherlands that are higher than EU regulations and that threaten the environment.
The planned move to limit emissions in Flanders has caused a crisis within the Flemish regional government.
In the Netherlands, farmers have refused to cooperate with the government on measures to limit nitrogen emissions, which would significantly reduce livestock in the country.
It is expected to impact between 5 000 – 15 000 jobs.