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European Parliament adopts draft Nature Restoration Law

The European Parliament has adopted its position on the EU Nature Restoration Law ahead of legislative negotiations with the European Council (12 July).

The proposed text of the legislation saw 336 votes in favour, 300 against and 13 abstentions. According to the agreed position, the EU must have restoration measures in place by 2030 covering at least 20 per cent of its land and sea areas.

The draft law does not impose the creation of new protected areas in the EU nor block new renewable energy infrastructure, with an article underlining that such installations are overwhelmingly in the public interest.

The Parliament highlighted that the new law must contribute to reaching the EU’s international commitments, in particular the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity framework. MEPs also supported the Commission’s proposal to put restoration measures in place by 2030 covering at least 20 per cent of all land and sea areas in the EU.

“The Nature Restoration Law is an essential piece of the European Green Deal and follows the scientific consensus and recommendations to restore Europe’s ecosystems. Farmers and fishers will benefit from it and it ensures a habitable earth for future generations. Our position adopted today sends a clear message,” said César Luena, European Parliament’s rapporteur.

The law shall only apply when the European Commission has provided data on the necessary conditions to guarantee long-term food security and when EU countries have quantified the area that needs to be restored to reach the restoration targets for each habitat type. The Parliament’s draft law text also foresees the possibility to postpone the targets under exceptional socioeconomic consequences.

“Now we must continue the good work, defend our ground during the negotiations with member states and reach an agreement before the end of this Parliament’s mandate to pass the first regulation on nature restoration in the EU’s history,” Mr Luena added.

Within 12 months of this regulation entering into force, the Commission would have to assess any gap between restoration financial needs and available EU funding and look into, for example, establishing a dedicated EU instrument.

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