Irish political leaders must support Nature Restoration in the European Parliament

May 25

The Irish Wildlife Trust is calling on all political leaders in Ireland to ensure that their MEPs support the Nature Restoration Law in the European Parliament

May 25th 2023
This week the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries (PECH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), both rejected the Nature Restoration Law (NRL). The vote to reject the NRL without amendments was supported by MEPs from the government and main opposition party in Ireland.
This rejection of the NRL by these committees  poses a direct threat to the objectives of the European Green Deal, which aims to steer the EU towards a just transition to sustainable and equitable practices. It also goes against several of the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity.
The NRL has the potential to be the EU’s most significant legislation for tackling the biodiversity and climate crisis. For EU decision makers this represents a pivotal moment to leave a positive legacy and securing support from each Member State is crucial. The landmark NRL will only pass if decision makers show a level of political will to match the level of urgency imposed by the environmental crises we are facing. Due to poor communication by the Government, there has been a lot of misinformation spread on the NRL, stating that it will undermine food security and stop all economic development. This is simply not true and member’s of the AGRI and PECH committees rejecting the NRL is a short-sighted decision which will threaten farmer’s livelihoods and food security in the long run.
The PECH committee rejecting the law also disregards all scientific evidence showing that the health of the marine environment is in severe decline and the effects this will have on small scale fishermen and women along with coastal communities.
NGO’s, including the Irish Wildlife Trust are now urging Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the lead committee on this file – the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) – to listen to the science and uphold the NRL in their vote on June 15th.
Irish MEPs must listen to what the Irish people are calling for in the Citizens’ Assembly last month for:
‘The State [to]  renew and stand by its commitment to implement the objectives and targets of the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and play a leading and supportive role in the adoption and implementation of a new EU Nature Restoration Regulation.’
Member’s of conservative and liberal groups in the European Parliament including the European People’s Party, the European Conservative and Reformists (ECR) and Renew Europe, along with the far right, have voted against restoring 20% of the land and ocean and this shows a blatant disregard for people and to nature.
Grace Carr, Marine Advocacy Officer at The Irish Wildlife Trust, said “The results this week are very disappointing for nature restoration. The recommendations in the Citizen’s Assembly also clearly call for greater restoration targets on land and sea. With the new Irish Marine Protected Area legislation in the process of becoming a bill, we hope that Irish TD’s will show more support for marine conservation and restoration then the MEPs in Brussels”.
It is time for the leader’s of Irish political parties to stand up for the Irish people and request their MEPs support a strong Nature Restoration Law.