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Dutch farmers protest 'unfair climate goals'

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Dutch farmers protest 'unfair climate goals'
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Three thousand or more tractors rolling into Utrecht.

The protest starts here near the government’s national institute of public health, which wants farmers to cut nitrogen emissions after a court ruled the Netherlands is in breach of its limits under EU law.

“The government. They’re not listening to us. That’s the whole point. That’s the whole question. The government, they do not understand us," explains one farmer.

The thousands of farmers gathering here say government measures to meet their climate change targets are unfairly hitting them and not other industries like aerospace - the nearby Schipol airport up for a massive expansion.

This convoy of tractors is now heading to The Hague to the Dutch government. They’re calling on the government to change its policy and to ease the burden on farmers.

The 70-kilometre journey takes more than three hours for the tractors.

And while they’re blocking traffic, the route is lined with members of the general public supporting their action.

“They really have a goal and a meaning. They work so hard for our food and I think it’s good to unity and make a protest," says one resident of Utrecht.

A government spokesperson told Euronews that farmers have the right to protest, that they understand their worries and frustration that they want to start a dialogue as soon as possible and have frequently offered that.

Agricultural exports from out of the Netherlands bring over €92 billion into the country’s economy.

These farmers insist they’ll keep clogging up the roads until the government changes its position.