The EU has narrowly passed a key law to protect nature – a core pillar of the Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s European Green Deal – after months of fiery debate and an opposition campaign scientists criticised as misleading.
The nature restoration law will place recovery measures on 20% of the EU’s land and sea by 2030, rising to cover all degraded ecosystems by 2050.
Lawmakers decided against “killing the bill” by only a dozen votes in Strasbourg on Wednesday but watered it down on several points. They will send the proposal back to an environment committee before thrashing out details with member states.
“It’s a huge social victory,” César Luena, a centre-left MEP from Spain in charge of the proposal, told reporters. “This is a law on behalf of nature. It’s not a law against any person whatsoever.”