Ireland, Kerry County, St. Finian's Bay, view of Puffin Island. Photo Credit: Atlantide Phototravel via Getty Images

Environment Europe6. July 2024

“A Victory for Nature” – Land and Sea Restoration Takes the Stage

When Austria decided to back a nature restoration law, the European Union voted in favour of it, effectively pledging to restore 20% of land and sea by the end of the decade, a massive victory for Europe’s nature and citizens alike.

“Today’s decision is a victory for nature,” says Austria Green climate minister Leonore Gewessler. “My conscience tells me unmistakably [that] when the healthy and happy life of future generations is at stake, courageous decisions are needed.”

A qualified majority of 55% of member states representing at least 65% of the EU population needed to be achieved to adopt a law. Final tally: 20 countries voted in favour of the nature restoration law. Finland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden voted against it, while Belgium abstained. Provisions to reverse the decline of pollinator populations like bees by 2030 are included in the law, and measures will have to be put in place to restore drained peatlands and plant at least 3 billion trees. “I cannot reconcile it with my conscience if we let this opportunity pass without trying everything.”

The Guardian

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