Press Release: A Historic Day for Europe and Nature

Jun 17

Press Release


A Historic Day for Europe and Nature


17th June 2024


The EU Nature Restoration Law is finally passed by the EU Council of Environmental Minister’s after several years of negotiations


The EU Nature restoration Law which aims to restore 20% of EU land and 20% of EU seas was finally passed into law today by the EU Council of Environmental Ministers. This is a monumental moment for nature as this law is one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation in 30 years and has legally binding targets for effective restoration of EU ecosystems.


Kieran Flood, General Manager at the Irish Wildlife Trust welcomed the news saying ‘This is a huge win for nature. People have been calling for immediate action to help protect and restore nature in Ireland and this law will finally put in concrete measures to achieve this.’


This law had gone through trilogue negotiations between the EU Council, the Parliament and the Commission and a final text was agreed upon by all three institutions at the end of 2023. It was thought that the biggest hurdle would be achieving a majority of MEPs vote to approve the law but in February of this year, MEP’s voted in favour. In March it should have been a final stamp of approval from the Council to make the law official but in a last minute turn of events, Hungary decided to change its position and reject the law. This meant that there was no longer a qualified majority of EU citizens by Member State supporting the law. A qualified majority means 65% of the EU population is in favour.


NGO’s, citizens, businesses, scientists and supportive politicians from all across Europe have worked tirelessly since then to get this law over the line before the new EU Parliament comes into force.These multiple initiatives to rally support for the delayed law have worked and today the law was officially approved.


Grace Carr, Marine Advocacy Officer for The Irish Wildlife Trust said, ‘This is the moment we have been working on and waiting for for years now. It’s extremely encouraging that the Council have kept their word and finally voted to approve the law. Now the work starts on creating National Restoration Plans and effectively implementing the law. This will bring nature back to the EU and protect ecosystems and people from the damaging effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. Today is a day to celebrate this win for nature and for our future.’


Member states gave statements before they voted this morning with many Member States voicing strong support and acknowledgement that this law is desperately needed if we are to restore degraded ecosystems, ensure food security and fair payments for farmers and fight against the more extreme results of climate change. Eamon Ryan highlighted that farmers need a fair income and the Nature Restoration Law can provide measures to ensure that. The countries to vote against the law were Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Hungary with Belgium abstaining. 20 countries, representing 66.07% of the population voted in favour of the law. We would like to thank our members and everyone else who showed their support through this lengthy process and helped to get this law over the line.



Media contact – Grace Carr,