Environmental Coalition writes to ambassadors of EU States blocking Nature Restoration Law urging them to endorse the Law

Ongoing absence of a qualified majority for the carefully negotiated provisional agreement is very concerning

A coalition of leading environmental organisations has written to the ambassadors of eight EU Member States that are currently blocking the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law urging their countries to endorse the provisional agreement on the NRL which was already reached by the Commission, Council and the European Parliament.

The Environmental Pillar, the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN), and Stop Climate Chaos have said in their joint letter that the importance of the NRL is reflected in the unprecedented level of engagement by European citizens, stakeholders, the scientific community and business in the negotiations between the European institutions.

The ongoing absence of a qualified majority for the carefully negotiated provisional agreement is very concerning, they said.

“Such backtracking on previously agreed compromises, the result of long months of negotiation, jeopardises our democratic institutions and calls into question the EU policy-making process,” they said.

The stance by the eight Governments on the NRL is also at odds with their own and other EU citizens who are strongly in favour of more nature restoration.

“The failure of the Council to act as a reliable and trustworthy co-legislator undermines citizens’ faith in political leadership at a time of rising polarisation and Euroscepticism,” the letter said.

The adoption of the NRL would also live up to the commitments made by the countries to restore nature within the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) which was adopted by the European Union and Member States in December 2022.

The coalition said: “The failure to adopt the NRL ahead of the United Nations Biodiversity COP16 conference in Cali, Colombia later this year would undermine Europe’s reputation internationally, potentially critically undermining global efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and climate change.”

The letter concluded that the scale and urgency of the biodiversity and climate crisis requires brave and decisive leadership and called on the eight Governments to listen to the voices of EU citizens and conclude the political process at the Environment Council on June 17th so that the collaborative process of designing National Restoration Plans can finally begin.

Oonagh Duggan, Head of Advocacy at BirdWatch Ireland, a member organisation of both Environmental Pillar Steering Committee and SWAN, said “The Nature Restoration Law was widely supported by the public in EU countries blocking the law, as well as those that have backed the law. Civil society organisations, scientists and industry throughout the EU have called for it to pass. We are urging those countries that are currently blocking the adoption of the NRL to progress the law in the coming weeks.

“The climate and biodiversity crises are intertwined. Europe is now the fastest warming continent on earth, according to a report from the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service and the World Meteorological Organisation. Much of our biodiversity is really struggling.

“Nature restoration is necessary to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and to safeguard European food security. But the Nature restoration must be a pan European activity with all countries on board.”