MEPs vote in favour of new EU nature restoration law

Posted: 13th July 2023

Photo: Dan Dinu

MEPs have voted in favour of the EU nature restoration law, supporting the commission’s proposal that the EU must have restoration measures covering at least 20% of its land and sea areas in place by 2030.  

Following a debate on  Tuesday 11th July, the European Parliament adopted its position on the EU nature restoration lawwith 336 votes in favour, 300 against and 13 abstentions. According to the Commission, although the new law has incorporated various amendments, it will bring significant economic benefits, with every euro invested resulting in at least 8 euros in benefits. 

 The ELP is funding landscape restoration projects in nine EU countries. The new law has the potential to provide an enabling framework for these projects in the long-term. It will support the EU in delivering on its international commitments, in particular the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity framework by putting restoration measures in place by 2030 covering at least 20% of land and sea areas in the EU. The draft law does not impose the creation of new protected areas in the EU nor block new renewable energy infrastructure.  

Photo: Blue Nomads / Rewilding Europe.

The law will only apply when the 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. There is also a possibility that targets will be postponed under exceptional socioeconomic consequences. 

After the vote, rapporteur César Luena(SD, ES), said: “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. 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.” 

Photo: Mika Honkalinna, Snowchange.

Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said: “The Nature Restoration Law has become a symbol of the future of the European Green Deal. This vote paves the way for continued action to save biodiversity and address the changing climate. It is thanks to massive support from the public, the scientific community and progressive businesses that a majority of MEPs voted in favour of the law. Still, today’s win came at a high cost. Even with an unprecedented mobilisation to save Europe’s nature, the Parliament’s position is far from what science tells us is necessary to tackle nature loss and climate change.” 

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