blades of grass in the rain

March 5, 2024

EU Parliament Passes Pioneering Nature Restoration Law

The European Union Parliament has successfully passed a groundbreaking nature restoration law, marking a significant stride towards environmental sustainability, receiving 329 votes in favour.

Under this new law, the EU will implement restoration measures on a minimum of 20% of land and sea by area size, within this decade. The scope of restoration efforts will then expand to encompass all ecosystems in need of repair, extending through to 2060. A peatland-specific target has also been established to revitalise 30% by area size in this decade, with a further increase to 50% by 2050.

And, specific targets will be developed to mandate member states to boost populations of birds and pollinating insects, in addition to restoring rivers and waterways. These objectives align with the EU's commitments under the UN's international Kunming-Montreal biodiversity treaty, ratified in late 2022, which aims to halt and reverse the destruction and degradation of nature on a global scale. Currently, 81% of the EU's habitats are classified as being in poor health.

Despite opposition, more than 6,000 scientists have asserted that the law will not result in food insecurity or economic losses. They emphasise the long-term benefits, including the potential to improve soil and water quality. Senior executives from over 80 businesses have echoed this sentiment, stating that the package will support, rather than hinder, the private sector in Europe.
The European Commission estimates that an investment of €1.54 billion in restoring ecosystems could generate over €1.8 trillion in benefits.