EE: Nature restoration law passed despite backlash

Despite the delay of months due to the reactions of some governments and member countries EU on Monday gave the final green light to the Ecosystem Restoration Regulation, the first environmental law passed since the European elections.

The new regulation, one of the EU’s most important environmental policies, requires member states to restore a fifth of their land and seas by 2030.

Once approved by environment ministers in Luxembourg, the regulation could become law.

The vote came after Austria’s environment minister, Leonore Gevesler of the Greens, said she would defy the line of her conservative government coalition partners and vote in favor of the regulation, which would provide enough support to pass the law.

“I know there will be a backlash in Austria, but I am sure now is the time to pass this law,” Gevesler said. Reuters.

The regulation seeks to prevent the decline of natural habitats (81% of which are considered degraded) and includes specific targets, such as restoring peatlands to absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

This position of the Austrian environment minister angered Chancellor Karl Niehammer of the Conservative People’s Party, which opposes the legislation. European Affairs Minister Caroline Endstadler said Gesweller’s affirmative vote would be unconstitutional.

However, Belgium, which currently holds the EU presidency, clarified that the internal dispute in Austria did not affect the legitimacy of the vote.

Member States and the European Parliament they had agreed In relation to the regulation last November, but later some governments expressed disagreement after farmers protested the costs of European regulations.

Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland voted against the law on Monday, while Belgium abstained.

The regulation was originally scheduled to be adopted in March, but the vote was postponed after Hungary suddenly withdrew its support and the measure no longer received the necessary majority.

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