Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Parliament achieved a significant milestone today as it adopted its position for the negotiations on the Nature Restoration Law. While the motion by the EPP (European People’s Party) for a complete rejection of the European Commission’s proposal did not find a majority, a constructive position prevailed, signaling a victory for nature, the climate, and responsible politics. The negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission on the Nature Restoration Law, a central building block of the Green Deal, are set to commence soon.
Terry Reintke MEP, President of the Greens/EFA (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance) in the European Parliament, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome. “This is a success, not just for nature and the climate, but for the entire planet. The Nature Restoration Law is crucial for preserving nature and is beneficial for climate action, biodiversity, and food security. Additionally, it holds immense potential for the economy. We welcome the majority’s decision, which reflects a commitment to responsible politics.”
Reintke continued, “The disinformation campaign launched by the EPP leadership and their far-right allies to undermine the Nature Restoration Law has failed. It is now time for us to roll up our sleeves and return to constructive and consensus-based politics. The urgency of saving nature leaves us no time to waste. Our group will work in constructive cooperation with all democratic factions to swiftly put the Nature Restoration Act on track.”
Philippe Lamberts MEP, also President of the Greens/EFA Group, emphasized the existential threats posed by climate change, species extinction, and the destruction of nature to agriculture and livelihoods. “The greatest peril to our agriculture and livelihoods stems from climate change and the alarming decline of species and ecosystems. Over 100 major companies have recognized this and issued a compelling plea for the enactment and implementation of the Save Nature Act.”
Lamberts further criticized the EPP leadership for their attempts to hinder essential legislation needed to combat these threats, referring to their approach as a literal scorched Earth policy. He stressed, “Restoring and supporting nature is indispensable in mitigating the most devastating effects of climate change. Droughts, fires, and floods are ravaging our fields and soils, endangering food security. Today’s vote presents Europe with an opportunity to restore our ecosystems and prioritize the well-being of people and the planet over the vested interests of powerful agricultural lobbies.”
The importance of the Nature Restoration Law extends beyond the political realm. Major companies, including Ikea, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola, have joined forces to send an open letter demanding swift passage of the Renaturation Law. Their involvement underscores the crucial role that businesses must play in safeguarding the environment and promoting sustainable practices.
In light of the successful vote, Greens/EFA Group Presidents Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts, along with shadow rapporteur on the Nature Restoration Law, Jutta Paulus, are currently addressing the press outside the Hemicycle chamber in Strasbourg.
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 revitalizing 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.”
The adoption of the European Parliament’s position for negotiations on the Nature Restoration Law marks a significant step towards securing a sustainable future for Europe. By prioritizing the protection of nature, climate action, biodiversity, and food security, policymakers have demonstrated their commitment to responsible politics and the well-being of people and the planet. The collaboration between democratic factions and the support from leading companies exemplify the collective effort needed to restore our ecosystems and ensure a resilient and thriving future for all.