The European Commission has announced it will scrap a controversial plan to dramatically cut agricultural emissions following prolonged farmer protests that have spread across the continent.
The intention was to force agriculture to cut non-CO2 emissions, like nitrogen and methane and other gas emissions, by about a third from 2015 levels to help meet a target of 90 per cent greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
The commission decision followed an intensifying push back from farmers that began in 2022.
This year alone often fiery public demonstrations have taken place in Germany, Poland, Romania and Italy and outside the EU Commissioner headquarters in Brussels last week.
Also last week French farmers removed roadblocks across motorways following a fortnight of protests after securing a range of support measures from the French government, including a promise to immediately stop overseas imports produced using pesticides banned in the EU bloc.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Dutch farmers protested in the Netherlands, Spanish farmers also blocked highways with farm machinery and burning tyres and distribution centre blockades led to dwindling stock on Belgium shelves.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen also put a line through a recommendation in the commission's Green Deal plan that EU residents eat less meat, another centrepiece of its green transition road map.
The emissions decision, made before European parliamentary elections begin in June amid predictions of a heavy swing to hard right nationalist candidates standing beside farmers, is certain to be felt worldwide.
In recent years governments across the globe, including Australia, and the industrial and finance and banking sectors particularly have increasingly looked to Europe for guidance or set policy that falls directly behind with the agenda set in Brussels.
However, Ms von der Leyen conceded that commission emissions and pesticide reduction rules targeting the agriculture sector had been too harsh and became a "symbol of polarisation".
"Our farmers deserve to be listened to," she told the European Parliament on Wednesday.
"I know that they are worried about the future of agriculture and their future as farmers.
"But they also know that agriculture needs to move to a more sustainable model of production so that their farms remain profitable in the years to come."
The nitrogen oxide emissions plans triggered the first set of producer protests in the Netherlands in 2022 where the Farmer-citizen movement, formed in 2019 to fight plans to reduce nitrogen emissions and livestock numbers, won a slew of Senate seats in the 2023 national elections.
The plans sat in the background since that time until this week's carve out.
Australia's 85,000 farmers are waiting for the federal government to finalise a range of environmental protection and emissions reductions policies, including the agriculture and land sectoral plan, to help meet its national renewable electricity target of 82% by 2030 and net zero by 2050 targets.
Europe's farmers said the harshest EU Commission agriculture policies threatened to increase red tape, force farming duties to be shelved for administration tasks and reduce business profits.
Farmers also recently scored a win over fallow land rules.
Italy's right-wing transport minister Matteo Silvini is quoted as saying: "long live the farmers, whose tractors are forcing Europe to take back the nonsense imposed by mutlinationals and the left."