Letter to ENVI Committee – Nature Restoration Law proposal

Climate action

On 15 June you will meet to vote on the important Nature Restoration Law proposal. This is an immense opportunity to act against the intertwined climate and biodiversity crises and, consequently, keep the European Union on track to reach the European Green Deal goals. Science has clearly demonstrated that it is not possible to meet EU climate goals without ramping up nature restoration. Furthermore, biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate with the majority of protected habitats, birds and species in a poor or bad state[1].

Nature is highly important for (i) biodiversity, (ii) climate mitigation, (iii) adaptation to extreme events, (iv) human health and well-being and (v) healthy ecosystem services and food security[2]. However, the proposal is facing an unprecedented disinformation campaign, a true ‘war against nature’[3], propelled by political groups influenced by disruptive voices from the agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors.

Echoing the Environmental Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius and the Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans, Climate Action Network Europe highlights the paramount importance of this piece of legislation. We therefore call on you:

  • Do not follow the opinions of the AGRI and PECH committees. Nature restoration is a huge opportunity to reverse biodiversity loss, scale up climate mitigation efforts, and enhance essential ecosystem services for food security. We need a Nature Restoration Law to be adopted by the end of 2023.
  • Speediness and ambition. Restoration practices take many years to provide results. We therefore need to ensure that by 2030, at least 30% of the EU’s land and sea areas are covered by effective restoration measures.
  • Considering the net-zero goal by 2050 under the EU Green Deal, it is necessary to ensure restoration targets are fully met by 2040 at the latest.
  • Inclusion of a clear non-deterioration obligation for restored ecosystems.
  • Rewet peatlands, protect old-growth forests and restore forests using a clear and robust set of indicators. We are in a climate and biodiversity emergency, there is no time to waste.
  • Do not listen to myths and disinformation. Listen to Science.

The next ENVI meeting on June 15 will be a crucial opportunity to show that MEPs are alarmed by the climate and biodiversity crisis and, thus, meet societal expectations by putting forward an ambitious nature restoration text to the plenary. CAN Europe with all its members, representing over 180 organisations in 38 European countries, hope that you will consider these key concerns and vote to restore nature.

[1] European Environmental Agency (2023). The importance of restoring nature in Europe. Retrieved from: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/importance-of-restoring-nature/the-importance-of-restoring-nature

[2] IEEP and Ecologic Institute (2023). Benefits of nature restoration: A new series of policy briefs. Retrieved from: https://ieep.eu/publications/benefits-of-nature-restoration-a-new-series-of-policy-briefs/

[3] The Guardian: MEPs accused of ‘culture war against nature’ by opposing restoration law.

Download the letter in PDF.