Brussels – Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee today voted against sending its recommendations on a new EU nature restoration law to the Parliament’s plenary session, after conservative and right-wing MEPs stripped the proposal of much of its content. The whole parliament must not allow nature protection to become a dividing issue, and vote to strengthen the European Commission’s draft law, said Greenpeace.

Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe nature campaigner Špela Bandelj said: “Every month brings dire new warnings of the damage we are doing to the nature that sustains us – scientific studies about disappearing insects, or wildfires and floods let loose by degraded ecosystems. Scientists are clear that without restoration of nature we will see vast extinctions, and the collapse of our ability to produce food and to survive global heating. It’s a disgrace that politicians and lobbyists have spread the lie that nature and farming are somehow in conflict – the whole parliament must ignore that nonsense and vote to restore Europe’s precious nature.”

The European Commission’s proposal aims to restore degraded nature in 20% of land and sea areas in the EU by 2030, and all degraded areas by 2050. In 2021, the European Environment Agency found that 81% of the EU’s ecosystems are in either a ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ condition. 

Conservative and right-wing political parties and agribusiness lobby organisations have opposed the law, with the leader of the centre-right European People’s Party Manfred Weber reshuffling the party’s deputies on the environment committee in its 15 June session to maximise votes against the proposal. Right-wing MEPs failed to kill the law entirely in the environment committee, but managed to gather support for a delay of the draft law’s nature restoration target to 2035, and to halve it to only restore 10% of natural areas, as well as weakening other proposals. The original targets and all other proposals will be back on the table for the Parliament’s plenary vote.

Scientists, environmentalists, the renewable energy industry and other business groups have expressed their support for the European Commission’s draft law to restore nature. 

Over 3,000 scientists expressed their concern at the inaccuracies and disinformation spread by those opposing the nature restoration law, including false threats to food security and jobs.

The EU’s national governments, represented by their environment ministers, agreed on their joint position on the nature restoration law on 20 June.

Next steps

The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the nature restoration law in its plenary session on 12 July. If approved, the law will then go to three-way negotiations between the European Parliament, national governments and the European Commission to agree on a final text.


Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe nature campaigner Špela Bandelj

+43 66 48169710,  [email protected] 

Greenpeace EU press desk

+32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]

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