Nature Restoration Law: ultimate test for ENVI Committee ahead of COP28

Posted on 27 November 2023

This Wednesday, 29 November, Members of the European Parliament’s Environmental (ENVI) Committee are set to vote on their final approval for the Nature Restoration Law, on which an agreement was reached earlier this month between the EU Commission, Council and Parliament.
The vote will show how committed the Parliament is to tackling the climate and biodiversity emergencies, and delivering on the EU Green Deal. It also comes at a critical time ahead of the COP28 starting later this week. The EU has a choice to either be an example on the international stage and live up to its international commitments or face massive embarrassment. 

A law riddled with compromises

The trilogue negotiations resulted in many significant compromises and concessions to accommodate all parties involved, with the expectation of gaining support even from the most conservative factions. Several main components of the law were further diluted, compared to the Council’s and Commission’s positions, to find common ground with Parliament’s significantly weaker stand. In the end, the eagerly-awaited deal was struck

Given the massive support for the law across different sectors [1] and the undeniable urgency to tackle the accelerating biodiversity and climate crises, it should be a rubber stamp vote for the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament. 

Member States want to restore nature 

EU countries, who will be in charge of implementing the law, endorsed the provisional agreement once again on 22nd November. It’s yet another strong signal that the Nature Restoration Law is vital for Europe and its citizens, and that Member States view it as a key tool to mitigate and adapt to climate change, safeguard the economy and ensure long-term food security. Besides being a crucial tool for EU countries to implement the Global Biodiversity Framework, large-scale nature restoration will bring them immense climate, economic and health benefits. 

Protect the economy, warn businesses 

A coalition of leading European companies renewed their support for the Nature Restoration Law as well. In the recently published update of their statement, businesses are “urging all Members of the European Parliament and EU Member States to support the final adoption of the Nature Restoration Law”. 

As the European Central Bank highlighted, three million companies in the Euro area are highly dependent on at least one ecosystem service. Further deterioration of nature will severely threaten the European economy and business operations, as healthy and resilient ecosystems are critical for the industry. 

The #RestoreNature coalition, consisting of WWF EU, BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth and EEB, says: “We urge all Members of the ENVI Committee to vote ‘yes’ on the historic Nature Restoration Law. Vote for nature, vote for future generations, vote for the economy, vote for Europeans’ safety and well-being. It would be highly irresponsible to vote otherwise. The EU can go to COP28 being one step closer to having the world’s first law to restore degraded ecosystems. Do not fail us this time!”

Notes to editors:

[1] The Nature Restoration Law has received approval from EU Member States, the wind energy and solar industry, scientists, the progressive farming community, European hunters, financial institutions, European mayors, an increasing number of companies and business associations and European youth. Almost 1,200,000 signatures and messages for an ambitious Nature Restoration Law have been collected through various campaigns, which were launched by the #RestoreNature coalition (incl. Avaaz), WeMove, etc.
 
Ahead of COP28, the EU has a choice to either be an example on the international stage and live up to its international commitments or face massive embarrassment.
© BirdLife.