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Thanks to S&Ds, the European Parliament greenlights first-ever comprehensive EU law to restore nature


27 Feb 2024


Climate & Environment

In a historic victory, the Socialists and Democrats drove a progressive majority in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today to approve the first-ever Nature Restoration Law, aiming to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, and all its ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.

With 81% of European habitats in poor condition, the adopted Nature Restoration Law is crucial to reverse the loss of biodiversity, combat climate change, enhance agricultural resilience, and meet our international commitments. Contrary to the conservatives’ and far right’s misleading claims, pitting farming against environment policies, for the S&Ds it is crystal clear that there can be no sustainable food production without healthy nature. 

Today's vote highlights the S&Ds’ ability to foster unity among members across various party affiliations, striking compromises that balance ambitious goals with practical feasibility.* 

César Luena, S&D MEP and European Parliament's chief negotiator on the Nature Restoration Law, said:

“Today is an important day for Europe, as we move from protecting and conserving nature to restoring it. The new law will also help us to fulfil many of our international environmental commitments. The regulation will restore degraded ecosystems while respecting the agricultural sector by giving flexibility to the member states. I would like to thank scientists for providing the scientific evidence and fighting climate denial, and young people for reminding us that there is no planet B, nor plan B.

“The unity of the Socialists and Democrats has been key to approve this law. Our commitment to nature has guaranteed that Europe has its first Nature Restoration Law in history.” 

*The Nature Restoration Law maintains its original scope, encompassing restoration measures on agriculture ecosystems, peatlands, urban ecosystems, forests, rivers, and marine areas. While introducing flexibilities to ease implementation, the S&D Group secured the overarching goal of implementing restoration measures covering at least 20% of the EU's land and at least 20% of the EU’s sea areas by 2030. The Parliament succeeded in granting legal status to the commitment to plant 3 billion trees by 2030 in the European Union. In marine areas, new provisions were introduced to strengthen the coordination of restoration measures amongst member states in particular in the context of the common fisheries policy. Furthermore, the S&D Group successfully emphasised the restoration of not only pollinator populations, but also of their diversity.


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