European Parliament backs nature restoration law

The European Parliament approved the highly contentious nature restoration law in plenary on Wednesday. The legislation will now be negotiated with member states.

The law sets a target of restoring at least 20 per cent of the EU's degraded ecosystems by 2030. Conservative groups in the European Parliament have campaigned hard against the proposal in recent months.

The parliamentary vote was expected to be a very close call, but in the end the plenary approved the legislation with 336 votes in favour, 300 against and 13 abstentions.

The law first survived a vote on an amendment to reject the bill in its entirety on Wednesday, after which MPs considered the bill article by article.

The nature law is seen as a cornerstone of the European Union's Green Deal. The Parliament will now start inter-institutional negotiations with EU countries on the legislation.

The text approved by the Parliament builds on the position of the member states but is more ambitious on several points. For example, EU countries should take measures to restore 20 per cent of all EU territory by 2030 rather than 30 per cent of ecosystems that are not in good condition.

The Parliament did not adopt calls for more flexibility for densely populated areas. The bill does mention taking into account the socio-economic impact of nature restoration.


© Photo Matthias Bein/dpa

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