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A crucial vote on the Nature Restoration Law

June 20th 2023

With Minister Eamon at a meeting of EU Environment Ministers in Luxembourg

Today I was in in Luxembourg for a really important EU Environment Council meeting, with a vote to agree the council’s General Approach to the Nature Restoration Law. I'm both pleased and relieved to say we secured a positive outcome, and an agreement (though it was unfortunately not unanimous) has been reached.

The state of play now is that, subject to next week’s decision of the EU Parliament’s Environment Committee and the plenary of the EU Parliament, which is expected next month, the Nature Restoration Law will then proceed into trilogue negotiations between the EU Commission, Council and Parliament before being finalised and adopted as a Regulation.


We're not there yet, and our fight to restore nature continues, but today at least was a good day for nature. I was proud to represent Ireland as we indicated our support for the Nature Restoration Law at the EU Council of Environment Ministers, and I believe that the text agreed today is a positive, ambitious and balanced one that will bring significant benefits for nature and people right across Ireland.


Implementing the Nature Restoration Law is going to benefit rural economies through voluntary, well-resourced schemes and new jobs, while bringing wildlife back to our forests, rivers, oceans and agricultural ecosystems, as well as our towns and cities.


Restoring nature will also shore up the many ecosystem services that we all need to survive. Nature is our lifeline and we are entirely dependent on it for food security, clean water, fresh air and economic production. What’s more, the resilience healthy nature provides against extreme weather events is even more vital in a climate changed future. A wide variety of stakeholders including the ECB, multinational corporations, wind energy groups, hunters and over 3,000 scientists have come out in favour of the NRL.


Most importantly, our citizens want this – both in Europe and at home. Now, it’s on the shoulders of our colleagues in the European Parliament to find a constructive and positive way forward.



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