Final call for a Nature Restoration Law truly fit for purpose
This Thursday, the European Parliament, Council, and Commission are expected to reach an agreement on the EU Nature Restoration Law. It is their last chance to set the law on the right track and ensure it can successfully tackle the devastating impacts of climate change and biodiversity decline.
Ensuring the Nature Restoration Law has teeth
The stakes are extremely high ahead of the last negotiation meeting on 9 November. After the European Parliament’s attempt to severely weaken the law in its position in July, the negotiators have one last opportunity to ensure that several key elements find their way into the final text. One of the most important points is to secure quantified and legally binding targets for all key ecosystems, including agricultural ecosystems and peatlands. Restoring drained peatlands is a critical solution for climate mitigation and adaptation and must be part of the final law.
The negotiated legislation is a crucial component of the von der Leyen Commission’s European Green Deal and is meant to be the EU’s key tool to implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. Failing to reach a meaningful agreement would put into question the EU’s fulfilment of both domestic and international biodiversity and climate commitments and above all, leave Europe’s citizens, economy and environment extremely vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change.
What has happened so far
The negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission have so far been fast-paced and challenging. It is believed that the Council and Commission intend to find common ground between the more ambitious Council’s position and the weaker Parliament’s position.
As there is no doubt about the urgency of the intertwined climate and biodiversity crises, the #RestoreNature coalition calls on all three institutions to reach a strong agreement that gives Europe a meaningful law, enabling large-scale nature restoration of key ecosystems. Since the Parliament’s concerns have been largely addressed during the negotiations, their full support is expected for the final text of the law.
Massive support for the historic law
The final talks follow several months of unparalleled mobilisation in support of the first-ever EU law to restore degraded ecosystems. The #RestoreNature campaign partners gathered over a million signatures and messages from citizens demanding a strong Nature Restoration Law. At the same time, more than 6,000 scientists, 100+ businesses, and over 200 NGOs and numerous climate activists urged decision-makers to deliver this much-needed law.
The #RestoreNature coalition, consisting of WWF EU, BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth and EEB, says: “This is the last moment to set the Nature Restoration Law on the right track. If negotiators didn’t have enough evidence that Europe desperately needs this law, last summer made it blatantly clear. Floods in Greece, wildfires across the Mediterranean and heatwaves around Europe reminded us once again that we are racing against the clock. A meaningful Nature Restoration Law, with quantified and legally binding targets for key ecosystems, can save Europe’s citizens, economy and environment.”
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Today, the members of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Nature Restoration Law as agreed in the trilogue negotiations, approving the final text with 53 to 28 votes. The proposal is now only one step away from the European Parliament’s side of the co-decision process to become reality: adoption in plenary.
In recent months, the call for an impactful Nature Restoration Law received unprecedented support from more than one million citizens, businesses, scientists, and multiple other stakeholders . As the three EU institutions engage in the conclusive ‘trilogues’ to finalise the law, it is crucial that the negotiators ensure this long-awaited law is equipped to tackle global climate and biodiversity emergencies.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.