Nature Restoration Law Approved by EU Parliament

Feb 29, 2024 | Climate Change, Green Architecture

The Nature Restoration Law, completed through negotiations between the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament, was formally approved on the 27th of February in a plenary session of the Parliament in Luxembourg.

The approval of the Nature Restoration Law received widespread political support in Ireland with the Irish government commending the eleven Irish MEPs who voted in favour of the law. In 2023, Dáil members also voted in favour of the law by a margin of 121 for and 9 against, thus highlighting Ireland’s commitment to nature restoration.

The Nature Restoration Law will now place a legally binding obligation on the Irish State to restore 30% of degraded habitats to good condition status by 2030. This obligation will increase in decades ahead with 60% of habitats required to be restored to good condition status by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

The law covers a wide variety of habitats such as water bodies, bog and forests. Most notably, 30% of drained peatlands must be restored to good condition status by 2030, with one quarter of this area being rewetted. By 2040, 40% of peatlands must be restored and by 2050, 50% of peatlands must achieve good condition status. One third of this area will be required to be wetted.

In order to appease the concerns of some at the negotiation stage, an ‘emergency brake’ was been inserted into law concerning some targets related to agricultural ecosystems. In exceptional circumstances these targets can be suspended if the land needed for EU food production is severely reduced.

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