The long-awaited final results for the elections to the European Parliament confirm the decimation of the Greens’ major source of political power in Europe.

As predicted, they ended up in sixth place in the party groupings with 52 seats, a loss of 19 from where they were before the elections. This contrasts with the 190 seats of the centre-right European People’s Party, which strengthened its position as the biggest group.

The question now is whether this loss of political influence for green policies will be reflected in EU policies. If that happens – and the controversial nature restoration legislation could be an early casualty – it would create the ironic situation of the UK ending up more green post-Brexit than the EU many farmers voted to leave to escape green thinking in agriculture.

In the UK political arena, this week has seen the government seeking credit for the welcome confirmation that inflation is back in line with the Bank of England 2% target. That outcome was, however, driven by global issues and there was little any government could do to influence the inflationary spike.

This is not the end of the cost-of-living crisis, in that while prices may have stopped rising so quickly, they have settled well above where they were before inflation took off. Farming remains under margin pressure, thanks to still high input costs when retailers are using their muscle to drive down farm gate prices.

The week brought a mix of good and bad. On the positive side, we had proof that BSE has lost its power to upset trade stability, with Korea reversing bans on beef from France and Ireland after random cases of BSE. This is welcome conformation that the industry has finally put those bad old days behind it.

However, with avian flu spreading and cases detected on dairy farms and in people in the United States, there is always concern diseases could cross the species barrier and trigger a new pandemic. The EU has acted collectively for member states to secure 685,000 avian flu vaccines which, if deemed necessary, will be made available to those at greatest risk, including staff on poultry farms, vets and others dealing with infected animals. Both these events reflect science delivering solutions.

As the political power of the Greens diminishes, this could create fresh opportunities for science to be a bigger part of the battle against the impacts of climate change.

There are always two potential approaches to a problem – carrot and stick. The Greens have successfully driven regulation to curb agricultural production as the best way to tackle greenhouse gases. This fits with their philosophy, but there is scant evidence it is the best way to solve the problem. Some in the green movement have encouraged an anti-science stance, which is more about politics than the issue.

If the EU wants to seize the opportunity to really deliver on combatting climate change, the new parliament and Commission need a greater focus on science. Gene-editing, or in euro speak novel genomic techniques, have real potential to produce solutions that will help farmers live with the immediate impact of climate change while delivering longer-term solutions that safeguard food security.

The EU and United States have an agreement to work jointly on feed additives and other approaches that have the potential to reduce damaging methane production from livestock. These have the potential to tackle one of the most significant climate change issues in agriculture that has driver curbs on production as the answer to the problem. And while the science is complex, Yara, the fertiliser manufacturer, has begun work on decarbonising fertiliser production.

This would tackle one of the big inputs that raises the carbon footprint of agriculture. It is seeking to use hydrogen produced from water as an alternative to fossil fuel gas to produce ammonium nitrate and has done so in a fully built trial facility. This comes back to the familiar clash between science and those who see restrictions and control as the answer. This began with those who wanted early motor cars to be proceeded by someone carrying a red flag. If the Greens want to find a way to again be relevant, they should be backing science over restriction. Winding the clock back in not the answer.

If they fail to grasp this, political oblivion for the movement is already being written on the wall.