The Green Party has responded to the news that MEPs have voted in favor of a revised version of the proposed Nature Restoration Law at the European Parliament. The law, which aims to increase biodiversity and restore ecosystems, includes binding restoration targets for specific habitats and species. In a statement, the Green Party praised the law for setting legally binding targets to restore nature and highlighted the co-benefits for climate, water, agriculture, and the economy.
Deputy Brian Leddin, Green Party spokesperson on transport, climate action, and the environment, commended the Irish MEPs for their stand against misinformation and pressure from lobby groups. He emphasized the importance of reversing the decline in nature and biodiversity and expressed confidence that history will reflect kindly on those who supported the law.
While the Nature Restoration Law has been adopted by the European Parliament, EU Council, and European Commission, talks to agree on the final form of the law will begin in September. Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey expressed disappointment with the handling of the law by the European Commission, stating that the debate became polarized and lacked meaningful engagement. He called for lessons to be learned and for future similar issues to be approached in a more proactive way.
Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore emphasized the need for the final text of the legislation to maintain its ambition and not be watered down further. She highlighted the removal of key measures, such as the rewetting of peatlands, and called on the Irish Government to ensure that the law remains effective in practice.
The Rural Independent Group of TDs criticized the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law, claiming that it imposes stringent and unrealistic targets for Ireland. They expressed concern about the impact on agriculture and the size of the areas that would need to be rewetted. They argued that the current text of the law, even with amendments, is excessively rigid and undermines Irish agriculture.
Overall, the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law has received mixed reactions from political parties in Ireland. While the Green Party and Social Democrats support the law for its potential to restore nature and biodiversity, Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey expressed disappointment with the handling of the law. The Rural Independent Group raised concerns about the impact on agriculture and the targets imposed on Ireland. The final form of the law will be determined through further negotiations between the European Parliament, EU Council, and European Commission.