EU nature law on knife-edge after losing first vote

Brussels, June 27 (BNA): A parliamentary committee in the European Union rejected, on Tuesday, a landmark legal proposal to protect endangered natural habitats, ahead of a crucial vote in the full European Parliament next month.

The Struggling Environments Revitalization Bill – which aims to restore nature to 20% of EU land and sea – is facing a backlash from parliament’s largest faction, the conservative European People’s Party, which has called for it to be rejected.

EPP’s opposition to the proposal drafted by the European Commission centered on concerns that the law would harm farmers’ livelihoods and jeopardize food security – assertions that have been rejected by thousands of scientists.

Reuters reported that in a court committee vote, 44 MPs supported the law and 44 opposed it, meaning it failed to gain majority support.

The bill faces a full parliamentary vote on July 11, where failure to muster a majority will kill the proposal.

Other lawmakers have defended the bill, which Brussels says is crucial to reversing the decline of Europe’s natural habitats, 81% of which are classified as in poor health.

“We guarantee food security and the undeniable improvement of nature for the benefit of farmers, ranchers and fishermen,” said Cesar Luena, Parliament’s chief negotiator on the law.

Supporters from other parliamentary groups said they would try to rally to reach a compromise deal before the vote next month. Parliament officials said they expected a close vote.

The law has also faced criticism from governments including Ireland and Belgium, with the latter warning that the EU is overburdening industries with too much regulation.

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Despite this, EU nations agreed to a position on the law of nature last week – weakening some of the targets and seeking more EU money to support farmers in restoring nature, but supporting the overall goals of the measure.


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