Conservatives Water Down EU Nature and Farming Laws
Nature restoration becomes a required effort rather than an obligation.
The European Parliament narrowly approved a new nature-restoration law on Wednesday. 336 lawmakers, mostly from the center-left, supported a European Commission proposal to restore 20 percent of Europe’s degraded ecosystems by 2030 and all areas deemed in need of restoration by 2050. 300 lawmakers from the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) and Euroskeptic right voted against it.
But to make the proposal palatable to the centrist Renew group, the obligations for member states were watered down and farm land was excluded from the restoration goals.
Liberals from Finland, Germany and the Netherlands still voted against the bill, fearing a repetition of the situation in the Netherlands, where a strict interpretation of existing EU conservation law has slowed construction and thrown thousands of livestock farmers into uncertainty.
In a lesser-noticed vote, the center-right also excluded most livestock farmers from stricter EU targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Obligation stripped from final version
Parliament stripped an obligation for EU member states to ensure protected ecosystems don’t deteriorate. The version of the law that passed merely requires governments to demonstrate efforts to prevent deterioration.
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