The presence and preservation of nature are fundamental to maintaining environmental balance and human survival. Wetlands, forests, grasslands, and marine habitats play a crucial role in regulating climate and preserving biodiversity. However, it is worrying to note that 80% of European nature is in a state of degradation.
In this context, the EU Nature Restoration Law, adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, by 336 votes to 300 with 13 abstentions, paves the way for even greater action on biodiversity and climate.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) underline that restoring the ecosystem is key to combating climate change and biodiversity loss and reduces risks to food security. They stress that the draft law does not impose the creation of new protected areas in the EU nor block new renewable energy infrastructure as they added a new article underlining that such installations are overwhelmingly in the public interest.
Nature recovery goals for 2030:
- The European Parliament stresses that the new law should contribute to fulfilling the EU’s international commitments, in particular the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. MEPs support the European Commission’s proposal to implement recovery measures by 2030, covering at least 20% of all EU land and sea areas.
- Parliament says the law will only apply when the Commission has provided data on the conditions needed to ensure long-term food security and when EU countries have quantified the area that needs to be restored to meet the restoration targets for each habitat type. Parliament also provides for the possibility of postponing the targets in case of exceptional socio-economic consequences.
- Within 12 months of the regulation’s entry into force, the Commission will have to assess any gap between the financial needs for restoration and the available EU funding and seek solutions to bridge the gap, including through a specific EU instrument.
After approval, the next crucial steps involve the start of negotiations between the Parliament and the Council to define the final form of the legislation.
More information about the Nature Restoration Law here.
UICN (2022). EU Nature Restoration Law: A boost for biodiversity and climate. Article, 22 June, 2022. URL: https://www.iucn.org/fr/node/33096
News European Parliament (2023). Nature restoration law: MEPs adopt position for negotiations with Council. Press Releases, 12 Jully, 2023. URL: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20230707IPR02433/nature-restoration-law-meps-adopt-position-for-negotiations-with-council
European Commission (2023). Nature restoration law. URL: https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/nature-and-biodiversity/nature-restoration-law_en