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Eamon Ryan Asserts Nature Restoration Law Salvageable

By April 9, 2024 No Comments
Nature Restoration Law

Efforts are currently underway to preserve the integrity of the Nature Restoration Law following unexpected reversals in support by several member states of the European Union. The Honourable Environment Minister, Eamon Ryan, has expressed that although the law’s prospects are concerning, it remains salvageable.

This pivotal legislation, designed to halt and reverse the degradation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, was approved by the European Parliament and awaited formal endorsement by the EU Council of Environment Ministers. Regrettably, a shift in stance among certain nations resulted in the exclusion of this law from the scheduled agenda.

Despite the absence of further scheduled Council meetings prior to the forthcoming European elections in June, Minister Ryan optimistically noted that the law might yet receive approval at any subsequent council assembly.

A session of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) is anticipated on April 12, with a subsequent meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers later in the same month. Concurrently, negotiations are in progress to re-engage at least one dissenting country to secure the requisite majority for the law’s enactment.

Minister Ryan warned of significant repercussions should the law be abandoned, highlighting that such a course of action would severely undermine the European legislative framework. He elucidated the adverse effects on nature conservation and agriculture, emphasizing the opportunity to establish new revenue avenues, bolster environmental protection, and support emerging generations in farming and forestry.

Furthermore, he stressed the detrimental impact on climate change mitigation, underscoring the pivotal role of nature-based solutions and the urgent need to address land use.

Despite facing opposition from countries including Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Hungary—with Hungary’s sudden defection notably exacerbating the situation—other nations like Austria, Belgium, Finland, and Poland have opted for neutrality by abstaining.

Minister Ryan reiterated Ireland’s commitment to developing its own nature restoration initiatives through the utilisation of funds from the €3.15 billion climate and nature budget established in the preceding October. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that the absence of a unified EU strategy on this front poses a significant challenge, concluding that reducing ambitions in climate and nature conservation is decidedly counterproductive at this juncture.

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