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Mandatory heat pumps abolished as farmers’ party takes net zero fight into heart of Dutch government


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Compulsory farm buyouts will now be replaced with a voluntary scheme, which was one of the Dutch Farmer-Citizen Movement’s (BBB) conditions for entering government with Mr Wilders.

The BBB triumphed in regional elections after a vote dominated by the tractors’ protests that inspired similar populist uprisings against EU green rules across Europe. In the general election held after the last government collapsed, the BBB, which was formed in 2019, won seven seats, a sevenfold increase since the previous elections in 2021.

They were the first European farmers’ party to get elected into parliament since the EU set their Net Zero objective. It won 4.6 per cent of the vote, while Mr Wilders won 23.5 per cent (equivalent to 37 seats) in a surprise landslide for the veteran firebrand.

The BBB also demanded the end of a law that would require homeowners to switch to a hybrid heat pump when replacing their central heating boiler from 2026. The act, introduced shortly after the EU announced its objective to install at least 10 million additional heat pumps by 2027 to hit its 2050 Net Zero goal, would have made them standard in Dutch homes. 

Switching to heat pumps would have driven down Dutch household use of natural gas for heating, which is the largest source of its gas consumption, equivalent to about 30 per cent in total.

BBB leader Caroline van der Plas said she was “mega-proud” of her party, which boasted a “large part” of its manifesto was reflected in the pact. “Thanks to BBB’s efforts,” the party boasted, “the mandatory heat pump will be abolished.”

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