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Nature Restoration Law endorsed despite conservatives’ opposition: a monumental victory for people and the planet

Date

12 Jul 2023

Sections

Climate & Environment

Today, thanks to the relentless efforts of the S&D Group, the European Parliament has pushed back against the boycott of the European People’s Party (EPP) by adopting its position on the Nature Restoration Law. This law stands as a critical component of the Green Deal, as well as of our commitment to fulfilling international obligations outlined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

In recent weeks, the conservative EPP has rolled out a campaign riddled with myths, falsely claiming that the law would have a detrimental effect on various sectors, including agriculture.

On the contrary, with 81% of the EU's land and sea currently suffering from poor conditions, restoring nature holds multiple benefits for society at large, including farmers. Farmers find themselves at the forefront of the combined negative effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. Nature restoration means that farmers will be protected against worsening climate change through increased CO2 absorption, as well as against extreme weather conditions. Simultaneously, nature restoration will revitalise degraded soil and support essential pollinators, ensuring food security and agricultural sustainability.

César Luena, S&D MEP and European Parliament's chief negotiator on the Nature Restoration Law in the committee on environment, public health and food safety (ENVI), said:

"The Nature Restoration Law has garnered immense support from civil society, NGOs, young people, scientists, and even multinational corporations, as well as the majority of EU governments. While the conservative EPP chose not to listen, the rest of the Parliament moved forward with this crucial policy, aiming to secure a better future for all.

“Four years ago, we declared climate and environmental emergencies. The S&Ds have remained unwavering in their commitment to ensuring the Parliament delivers on these emergencies, seeking compromises that align with the objectives of a just Green Deal as our guiding light.”

Mohammed Chahim, S&D vice-president responsible for the European Green Deal, said:

"Today's adoption of the Nature Restoration Law by the European Parliament marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fulfilling the Green Deal and the global biodiversity framework. Restoring nature stands as the most cost-effective measure in our battle against climate change as healthy ecosystems will absorb more CO2.

"The claims made by the EPP, suggesting that the law would harm food security and farmers' interests, are unfounded. In reality, restoring nature brings numerous benefits to farmers such as revitalising soils, supporting pollinators and buffering them from the worsening impacts of climate change. It is as simple as this: we cannot grow food on dead soil.”

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