Irish campaigners support EU Nature Restoration Law, Taoiseach not convinced

Irish campaigners support EU Nature Restoration Law, Taoiseach not convinced |

Environmental groups called on political leaders to support the highly criticised EU Nature Restoration Law and reverse the trend of deteriorating ecosystems during a rally outside the Irish parliament on Wednesday.

Nature is in decline across the EU, with 81% of habitats in a poor state. In Ireland, almost half of all habitats are in decline and just under half of protected species are in a bad, inadequate or unknown condition.

The Nature Restoration Law, proposed in June 2022, aims to reverse these trends by bringing in binding targets to restore degraded ecosystems, particularly those with a large potential to capture and store carbon or reduce the impact of natural disasters. Environmental groups are calling for political leaders to support the law and reverse the trend of deteriorating ecosystems.

“An ambitious Nature Restoration Law is essential to tackle the twin biodiversity and climate crises,” said Sadhbh O’Neill, climate campaign coordinator with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.

However, the proposed law has seen major pushback, including from Irish leader Leo Varadkar who warned some aspects go too far.

“I share concerns people have across rural and urban Ireland about some aspects of it going too far and not fully recognising how we use land in Ireland in particular,” he told the Irish parliament, according to The Journal.

Parts of the European Parliament are also pushing back against the law. Both the agriculture and fisheries committee have outright rejected it and the centre-right European People’s Party, which Ireland’s Fine Gael belongs to, walked out of negotiations in the environment committee on Wednesday.

“We need our elected leaders to wake up and recognise that climate action is widely supported by their voters and urgently needed,” said O’Neill, criticising members of the European Parliament from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin for blocking progress on the law.

One of the reasons for the opposition is the belief that the law will have a negative impact on the livelihoods of farmers, foresters and fishers.

But it is essential to get farmers on board with nature restoration in a way that is both fair to them and on a mass scale to reverse the death of Irish nature, said Eoghan Daltun, author of An Irish Atlantic Rainforest and advocate for rewilding.

“Ireland is one of the most ecologically wrecked places on Earth, never mind Europe, and it’s hard to think of anywhere else that has such a dire need for a properly implemented Nature Restoration Law as here,” he told EURACTIV.

“It’s crucial that proper legislation is brought in at a European level mandating restoration of wild natural ecosystems before we lose what very little we have left here,” he added.

The European Parliament’s environment committee will vote on its position on the law on 15 June ahead of a vote by the whole assembly in July. EU countries will also try to agree on a negotiating position at the meeting of environment ministers on 20 June.

(Kira Taylor |

Read more with EURACTIV

Irish campaigners support EU Nature Restoration Law, Taoiseach not convinced |

Netherlands terrorism threat increases


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *