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At last! Nature Restoration Law finally approved!

Incredible news from Luxembourg today, where I've joined my Green Party colleague Minister Eamon Ryan at a meeting of the EU Environment Council: the Nature Restoration Law has finally been approved!


Along with Minister Ryan, I initiated a decisive letter signed by 11 Member States calling on other Member States to join them in adopting the Nature Restoration Law proposal. This move helped get the Regulation over the line today.


Healthy nature underpins the very systems that support life on earth, and failure to restore ecosystems risks the security of our food and drinking water supplies, exacerbates the impacts of extreme weather such as floods and droughts, increases the potential spread of pests and diseases, and robs the wonders of the natural world, which have evolved over billions of years, from our children and grandchildren. Scientists, corporations and businesses, as well as millions of citizens right across Europe have campaigned for this outcome as the Regulation was seen as vital to ensuring the restoration of biodiversity across the continent.

Today is a good day for nature and a good day for the millions of people who have understood and campaigned for the vital importance of protecting and restoring our natural world. It also underpins the importance of having the Green Party and the Green Group in the European Parliament. We championed the Regulation through its complicated passage to this point, but not without listening and responding to the concerns of others and bringing other politicians with us to support it.

Ireland has led from the front on nature restoration over the last two years, and that is down to the Green Party. We negotiated hard to ensure cross-party support in Government, brought the overwhelming majority of the opposition with us, secured the votes of Irish MEPs at a critical time when we thought all might be lost, advocated for nature among our European colleagues, and delivered a Climate and Nature Fund of €3.15bn to support the implementation of the NRL at home.


If the story of the Nature Restoration Law – which has faced down powerful political headwinds in Europe – isn’t a testament to the value of the Green Party in this Government, I don’t know what is.


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