Member States to European Parliament: Europe needs a Nature Restoration Law now

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EU countries, which will be in charge of implementing the Nature Restoration Law, come out in favour of the law and send a strong signal to the opposition in the European Parliament.

Despite last-minute efforts by the Swedish Presidency to delay an agreement on the Nature Restoration Law and Sweden’s government not supporting the position negotiated by its Presidency, today the Environment Council reached its final position – the ‘general approach’ – supporting the proposed law [1]. While the Nature Restoration Law narrowly escaped a rejection in the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee last week, today Member States send a strong message to the blocking groups in the Parliament there is a will and need to restore nature in Europe.

This decision is critical in view of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) commitments made last year, and the climate targets included in the European Green Deal as the EU risks failing to achieve both without the proposed law.

While Member States recognised the need for dedicated nature restoration funding to implement this crucial law, they have also significantly weakened the ambition level of the proposal. The peatland and forest restoration targets have also been weakened significantly, allowing EU member states more flexibility to do less under certain conditions.

It will be the task of the upcoming Spanish Presidency, starting on 1 July 2023, to defend an ambitious outcome for the Nature Restoration Law by building on the position adopted today as a minimum and avoiding further weakening during the Trilogue.

Learn more about the EU Nature Restoration Law

[1] The general approach was adopted by 20 Member States, representing 66.13% of the EU population. Member States opposing the GA: Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and remarkably, Sweden itself. In addition, Austria and Belgium abstained.