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“Substantially Weaker” Nature Restoration Law Passed

The European Parliament has voted in favour of the Nature Restoration Law, but the lawmakers have been criticised for rowing back on key elements of the legislation. A total of 336 European Parliament members voted to approve the bill, with 300 voting against and 13 abstaining. NGO the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said that members of European Parliament had sacrificed “many critical obligations and targets”, allowing the proposal to become “substantially weaker”. It flagged the decision to scrap the proposed article on the restoration of agricultural land as “foregoing” an opportunity to sequester carbon and address the impact of intensive agriculture on biodiversity. Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer at the WWF European Policy Office, said the law had passed at a “high cost”. Philippe Zaouati, CEO at asset manager Mirova, said it was “urgent” to adopt nature protection and restoration regulations with “clear implementation roadmaps”, and welcomed the result as a “positive outcome”. However, he noted that the adopted text had been “significantly weakened” and urged European authorities to “raise their ambitions in line with scientific data”. 

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