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EU's Nature Restoration Law Comes into Force: A path for Environmental Renewal

Updated: Jun 19

The European Union has officially greenlit a ground-breaking agreement to revive degraded ecosystems across land and sea. This ambitious initiative aims to bolster climate mitigation and adaptation while enhancing food security, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable future. 


The Restoration Law, approved in February 202, despite significant last-minute opposition from right-wing lawmakers amid farmer protests, was officially adopted on the 17th of June. This ground-breaking legislation sets ambitious, time-bound targets to rejuvenate Europe's natural landscapes. 


Under this law, the EU will restore at least 20% of its land and sea areas by the end of the decade, expanding efforts to all ecosystems in need by 2060. Specifically, there is a target to revitalise 30% of peatlands by 2030, increasing to 50% by 2050. The restoration targets cover a wide range of ecosystems, including coastal, freshwater, forest, agricultural, urban areas, wetlands, grasslands, forests, rivers, and lakes. 


EU member states must act to restore at least 30% of habitats in poor condition by 2030, 60% by 2040, and “at least” 90% by 2050. Additionally, they have agreed to reverse the decline in pollinator populations by 2030. Other goals include restoring drained peatlands and planting at least three billion additional trees by 2030. 


Alain Maron, Minister for Climate Transition, Environment, Energy, and Participatory Democracy of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, celebrated the vote: “I am pleased with this positive vote on the Nature Restoration Law, agreed between the European Parliament and the Council almost a year ago. It is the result of hard work, which has paid off. There is no time for a break in protecting our environment. 

“Today, the Council of the EU is choosing to restore nature in Europe, thereby protecting its biodiversity and the living environment of European citizens. It is our duty to respond to the urgency of the collapse of biodiversity in Europe and enable the European Union to meet its international commitments. The European delegation will be able to go to the next COP with its head held high.” 


These bold targets align with the EU’s commitments under the UN’s Kunming-Montreal biodiversity treaty, ratified in late 2022, which aims to halt and reverse the destruction and degradation of nature. Alarmingly, 81% of the EU’s habitats are currently classified as being in poor health. 


Despite facing opposition, the law passed with a narrow majority, supported by 20 countries representing 66% of the EU’s population, just surpassing the 65% threshold required by the European Council. The law mandates all member states to submit national restoration plans to the Commission, which will review the regulation's application by 2033. 


Dominic Gogol, Deputy Director of Policy at We Mean Business Coalition, remarked, “The passing of the Nature Restoration Law after the EU elections shows the Green Deal is still alive and kicking. Ensuring 20% of the EU’s land and seas are restored by 2030 is a goal every nation should rally behind. A thriving natural environment offers countless benefits that support businesses and healthy living. 


“Companies will be eager to collaborate with member states in developing plans to achieve these nature objectives on land and sea. This landmark legislation represents a promising milestone in our efforts to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, as outlined by the Kunming-Montreal Agreement and in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target.” 


The Restoration Law represents a significant step forward in Europe's environmental policy, aligning perfectly with the mission of Climate Action for Associations.  

By harnessing the collective power and influence of the membership sector, Climate Action for Associations aims to accelerate the transition of entire sectors, systems, and professions towards sustainability.  

CAFA can support your membership organisation on it's climate action journey. Learn more here.




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