'Culture war against nature': Anti-restoration law MEPs denounced
The nature restoration bill was proposed alongside related laws proposing a restriction on chemical pesticides in order to reverse Europe's disastrous loss of species.
MEPs have been accused of fomenting "a culture war against nature" after the fisheries and agriculture committees voted against the EU's biodiversity bill.
Last June, the European Commission proposed legally enforceable objectives for member countries to restore wildlife on land, in rivers, and at sea. The nature restoration bill was proposed alongside related laws proposing a restriction on chemical pesticides in order to reverse the continent's disastrous loss of species.
However, there is a growing danger that the legislation may be repealed totally due to resistance from agricultural, fisheries, and forestry lobbying groups, as well as some member states. The agricultural committee of the European Parliament voted on Tuesday to reject the nature restoration legislation, and the fisheries committee followed suit on Wednesday.
The nature restoration law is an important component of the European Green Deal, which is critical to achieving international climate and biodiversity obligations. On Monday, commission vice-president Frans Timmermans stated that there will be no further proposals.
To strengthen Europe's resilience to climatic shocks as the earth heats, the law intends to reverse the decrease of pollinating insects while restoring forests, coastal regions, and other ecosystems critical to the food supply. It was a critical component of the EU's negotiating position at COP15 last year in Montreal, where the globe committed to conserving 30% of the earth for wildlife.
The European People's Party (EPP) has asked for the natural restoration and pesticide ideas to be abandoned completely, while liberal MEPs are split on the topic as well. MEPs from both parties voted against the nature measures this week, infuriating NGOs.
Ariel Brunner, a regional director at BirdLife Europe, said, “Politicians are whipping up a culture war against nature, instead of facing up to reality. Without an urgent and massive nature restoration effort, we will simply not survive the climate and biodiversity crisis."
It is worth noting that the EU environment ministers will gather in Brussels next month to settle on a single view on the proposals.