The European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement on the Nature Restoration Law. Once adopted and applied in the EU Member States, the law will be a key contribution to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and increasing Europe’s preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change.
“[…] I am convinced that we reached a balanced agreement on the Nature Restoration Law which will make nature our ally again,” commented Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. “By restoring it to health, we’re helping ourselves and are shielding ourselves against the effects of climate change. Healthy nature means adequate supplies of clean water, cleaner air, cooler cities during heatwaves, buffer zones against storms on our coasts and plentiful sources of food.”
The law should set in motion a process for continuous and sustained recovery of nature across the EU’s land and sea. As an overall target to be reached on the EU level, Member States will put in place restoration measures in at least 20 per cent of the EU’s land areas and 20 per cent of its seas by 2030. By 2050 such measures should be in place for all ecosystems that need restoration.
The law will help the EU and its Member States meet the restoration target they committed to under the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework at the biodiversity COP15 in December 2022.
“[…] This also sends an important positive signal to our global partners ahead of COP28 and in the implementation of the Kunming/Montreal biodiversity agreement that we are serious about our commitments,” stated Maroš Šefčovič, Executive Vice-President for the European Green deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight. “I hope for the swift adoption of the agreement by the co-legislators. There’s no time to lose in restoring nature which our wellbeing and economies depend on.”
Different restoration targets will apply to different ecosystems and Member States will decide the specific measures that will apply on their territories. For this purpose, they will develop national restoration plans, with restoration needs and measures adapted to the local context and a timeline for their implementation. They will develop these plans involving local communities and civil society.
The plans should seek synergies with climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation and disaster prevention, as well as with agriculture and forestry.