The proposed Nature Restoration Law has been rejected by the environment committee of the European Parliament. This morning, the committee voted against the amended proposal, as well as the original proposal put forward by the European Commission. The committee will now recommend to the full parliament that the law be rejected. However, this does not mark the end of the line for the controversial legislation, as the parliament can still vote to override the committee’s decision during a plenary session next month.
The defeat of the law in the environment committee, which typically supports environmental legislation, is seen as a significant setback by both its supporters and opponents. The final vote on the proposed law resulted in a tie, with 44 in favor and 44 against, leading to its rejection due to the lack of a majority. This follows the rejection of the law by the Agriculture Committee and the Fisheries Committee.
Today’s voting session was a continuation of the session held on June 15, which had to be postponed due to time constraints. The committee’s decision will now be recommended to the plenary session of the parliament. The parliament will then either agree to reject the law or adopt a position on it. MEPs will have the opportunity to propose further amendments during the plenary session. Irish Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan has already indicated her intention to do so.
Minister of State with responsibility for heritage Malcolm Noonan, who is also a member of the Green Party, emphasized that the plenary vote next month is what truly matters. If the plenary does not choose to reject the law and instead adopts a position, that position will serve as the basis for negotiations with the Council of the EU on the final text of the law. The Council of the EU, representing environment ministers of member states, has already adopted its own position on the Nature Restoration Law, which is supported by the Irish government.
It is important to note that the rejection of the proposed law by the environment committee does not guarantee its ultimate rejection. The upcoming plenary session will be crucial in determining the fate of the legislation. Both supporters and opponents of the law will be closely monitoring the parliament’s decision, as it will have far-reaching implications for environmental policy in the European Union.