50/50 split on the Nature Restoration Law - fight goes on
With 44 in favour versus 44 against, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee today rejected the proposal for a Nature Restoration Law. The next step will be a vote by all MEPs on the law in the July plenary session.
On 20 June, the Council reached an agreement on a proposal for a nature restoration law. The general approach will serve as a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the final shape of the legislation.
MEP Mick Wallace (Independents for Change, Ireland) comments:
“I’m disappointed with the outcome of the vote. 6 months of work has been thrown out with this vote. But there is still a long way to go. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that the Parliament can approve a position in the plenary so that we can start negotiations with the Council. I still have hope that we can eventually pass this desperately needed legislation.
I have no doubt EPP will continue their campaign of blatant disinformation. There is very little now that distinguishes EPP and the far right. EPP is clearly co-ordinating with the far right ID group, both groups voted identically on every vote. The vote has become deeply politicised, EPP has lost all sense of reason. No matter what the content of the regulation might be, EPP has made a political decision to kill it. We know EPP have threatened their ENVI Committee members with expulsion for voting in favour, but they will surely not be able to control the entire group in the same way for the plenary vote. We are approaching the sixth mass extinction according to scientists, so it cannot be overstated how important this piece of legislation is. The science is absolutely clear, the biggest threats to our food security and to the future of agriculture are the climate and biodiversity crises, and the nature restoration regulation is crucial to address both.”
The Left has been a strong supporter of new legislation and targets to protect and restore biodiversity. A broad coalition, made up of NGOs, the renewable energy industry, businesses, scientists and progressive parties, also supports the law.
Over 80% of European habitats are in poor shape. Past efforts to protect and preserve nature have not been able to reverse this worrying trend.This is why for the first time ever, the proposal sets out to adopt measures to not only preserve but to restore nature. The proposal aims to improve the state of nature by setting binding targets and obligations across a broad range of ecosystems at land and sea.
Nature restoration is an essential prerequisite for climate adaptation. It is crucial for enhancing the productivity and resilience of forest and agricultural land, which are already severely threatened by the growing impacts of climate change in nearly all parts of Europe. Drought, fire, and degraded soil pose risks to food production and livelihoods, particularly in rural areas.
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