In 2021, the European Environment Agency found that over 80% of the EU’s ecosystems are in “poor” or “bad” condition. The law requires restoration measures to be in place on 20% of Europe’s land and sea area by 2030, and aims to make the continent’s rivers, agriculture, forests and cities more biodiverse and resilient.
Lawmakers and member countries will negotiate the final text, aiming for a deal before EU Parliament elections in 2024.
Parliament says that the law shall only apply when the Commission has provided data on the necessary conditions to guarantee long-term food security and when EU countries have quantified the area that needs to be restored to reach the restoration targets for each habitat type. Parliament also foresees a possibility to postpone the targets under exceptional socioeconomic consequences.
Within 12 months of this Regulation entering into force, the Commission would have to assess any gap between restoration financial needs and available EU funding and look into solutions to bridge such a gap, in particular through a dedicated EU instrument.
“We have won. It is a social victory: for scientists, for young people, for a lot of companies and businesses, for the agricultural sector,” Cesar Luena, the parliament’s lead negotiator on the law, told reporters after the vote.