EU Nature Restoration law: a win for the environment?

Despite last-minute resistance from the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), the EU Parliament adopted the final version of the world’s first nature restoration law on Wednesday. EU member states must now initiate restoration measures in at least 30 percent of ecosystems that are in poor condition by 2030, 60 percent by 2040 and 90 percent by 2050. However, the law has been watered down considerably – particularly with regard to agricultural land.

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Unrealistic green zeal

De Telegraaf criticises the decision and points to growing resistance:

“The law stands in stark contrast to the shift that has been taking place over the past weeks in Brussels. Farmers’ protests, dramatic industrial balance sheets and voters flirting with parties of the far-right are waking Brussels up to the fact that more and more people and businesses have a problem with Europe’s green zeal. They are calling for a more realistic approach that better integrates the consequences. This is precisely what is lacking with the nature restoration law. Impact assessments warn of major legal risks. And The Hague has long warned that the plan could trigger a new nitrogen crisis.”

Alexander Bakker
La Vanguardia (ES) /

Nature restoration is a laudable goal

La Vanguardia observes:

“The fierce opposition of the conservatives throughout the debate has meant that the nature restoration law has fallen far short of the original proposals. ... The political division in parliament reflects the gap in society between the rural and urban populations. ... National governments must ensure a balance between the various interests when implementing the new European legislation. ... The restoration of damaged ecosystems is a laudable goal that requires the commitment of society as a whole as well as appropriate human, financial and scientific resources.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Also in the farmers’ interest

The benefits of the law need to be better communicated, urges The Irish Times:

“There is an irony in the misrepresentation of the Nature Restoration Law as an attack on farmers’ interests. Rural communities across Europe are among the sectors most immediately exposed to the ravages being wrought by the interlinked forces of biodiversity and climate collapse. Floods, fires, drought and pollinator extinctions are destroying agricultural production in more and more regions. Farmers have a core interest in the restoration of fertile landscapes, properly functioning ecosystems, and seasonal stability.”