EC Tackles Climate and Biodiversity Crises with Nature Restoration Law

The European Commission has adopted the EU Nature Restoration Law, the EU’s first major biodiversity legislation since the Habitats Directive in 1992, and pledged to half pesticide use by 2030. It will ensure that by 2030 effective restoration measures are in place on 20% of the Union’s land and sea areas and that by 2050, restoration measures will address all ecosystems in need of restoration. The law will stop net loss of green urban spaces by 2030, increasing them by 5% until 2050, to provide a minimum of 10% tree canopy cover in every European city, town, and suburb. Sabien Leemans, WWF European Policy Office’s Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer said: “The restoration law is a huge opportunity to bring nature back before the climate and biodiversity crises spiral completely out of control. Restoration of ecosystems like peatlands, forests and seagrass meadows can help reduce emissions and sequester millions of tonnes of carbon each year. The Commission’s proposal is good, but we need to keep in mind the urgency and make sure the bulk of the restoration action in these ecosystems is not pushed back beyond 2030.” The EC also proposed that half of pesticides should be replaced by techniques and technologies such as crop rotation and precision farming. In addition, the EC plans to enhance the contribution of EU trade agreements in the worldwide protection of the climate, environment and labour rights. The plan also aims to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters of the EU’s trade agreements.

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