Following a lengthy vote, there is no majority amongst MEPs on the Environment committee for the Commission’s proposal as amended for a Nature Restoration Law.
Following votes on amendments to the Commission’s proposal on Thursday 15 June and continued on Tuesday 27 June, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety finally rejected the proposed EU nature restoration law as amended.
The final vote was 44 votes in favour, 44 against and 0 abstentions, falling short of a majority in favour.
The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will table to plenary the proposal to reject the Commission’s proposal. Parliament as a whole is then required to take a position, probably in the July plenary session in Strasbourg
Reaction to the outcome was swift, with Romanian ECR MEP Cristian Terhes telling this site: “The rejection of Nature Restoration Law by the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament is the best sign that the voice of the peoples all across Europe is being heard by the EPP MEPs, who until now irrationally and unconditionally supported the insane utopian so-called green polices of Ursula von der Leyen under the umbrella of the “European Green Deal”.
“People need and want to eat natural food, not bugs or artificial meat, and this pivotal vote today helped ensure that happens. People all across Europe need to make their voices heard and expel from any offices by vote, in 2024, all the parties that supported these dangerous Marxist green deal policies, which result in an unbearable increase in energy, food and living costs.”
Elsewhere, Left group MEP Mick Wallace, said, “I’m disappointed with the outcome of the vote. It’s a bad day, for nature, for the people of the EU, for future generations, and for farmers too. Not only has the Environment Committee rejected the regulation, but EPP and the right wing groups have also severely weakened the text with their amendments.
“The peatlands targets have been deleted as well as the entire forest ecosystem article. We have a lot of work to do to try to reinstate those articles in plenary and to try to achieve an overall majority.”
“There is still a long way to go, with the plenary vote and hopefully trilogues with the Council to come, so I still have hope that we can eventually pass this desperately needed legislation.”
César Luena, S&D MEP and European Parliament’s chief negotiator on the Nature Restoration Law in ENVI, noted, “Nature lost a battle today, but we will continue fighting in plenary. I remain open, as always, to negotiate everything with everyone. I sincerely hope Manfred Weber will come to his senses and stop his personal crusade against Ursula von der Leyen, so that we can pass the European Commission’s proposal in plenary. It’s high time to focus on reversing biodiversity loss rather than these political games.”
Mohammed Chahim, S&D vice-president for the European Green Deal, said: “The rejection of the Nature Restoration Law in a tight vote in the environment committee is a setback for the EU’s commitment to the Green Deal and global biodiversity.”
The MEP added, “It is a missed opportunity to address the challenges faced by farmers, to combat climate change and secure a sustainable future for all. Restoring nature is the cheapest way to absorb CO2 in our fight against climate change.”