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The EU’s Nature Restoration Law has been a controversial piece of legislation. Much like the long embattled Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D), the EU Parliament and Council reached a political agreement for the Nature Restoration Law, only for support to be pulled at the last minute and the future of the law plunged into uncertainty. However, Euractiv reports that after a position change by Austria and Slovakia, the law managed to pass by a narrow margin. The article states:

“A majority of EU member states gave the final green light to the Nature Restoration Law on Monday (17 June) during a Council meeting in Luxembourg, marking the last step for one of the Green Deal’s most controversial files.

A last-minute position change from Austria, announced on Sunday by Vienna’s environment minister Leonore Gewessler, paved the way for the approval.

Slovakia, which had previously publicly voiced doubts about the proposal, also backed the text during the crucial vote, allowing the law to pass with a narrow majority of 20 countries representing 66% of the EU’s population. The threshold for approval by a qualified majority at the Council is 65.”

Much of the contention surrounding the law was how it would affect the agricultural sector. Agriculture workers and farmers represent one of the EU’s most vocal opponents to ESG and this population largely voted for right-wing candidates in the EU’s recent parliamentary elections. In order to appease these opponents, the final version of the law watered down requirements related to agriculture. The law requires 20% of the EU’s land and sea ecosystems to be restored by 2030 and restoration for all ecosystems by 2050. This will naturally disrupt industry in the EU as special provisions must be made for the protection and restoration of ecosystems.

Our members can learn more about the EU’s biodiversity initiatives here.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile