This week, once policymakers made it past the manure burning on the EU’s doorstep, they got to work determining the fate of several key laws. The success of the Nature Restoration Law, as well as the updated Environmental Crime Directive, suggests that the obvious and shameless environmental deregulation drive is not having the desired effect, and the Green Deal can push through the finish line in (more or less) one piece. With less than 100 days to finalise the EU’s flagship policy (thanks leap year for a whole 24 hours extra!) and elections heat ramping up, we can’t tear our eyes away. Here are the latest developments. 


I SEE TREES OF GREEN: The EU Parliament finally adopted the Nature Restoration Law (NRL), which aims to restore 20% of the EU’s land and sea by 2030. It has been a bumpy ride for the law, with committed disinformation campaigns and propagandising from conservative and far-right political parties which saw it nearly rejected. Well done to everyone who supported this campaign and to the 329 decisionmakers who stood on the side of people, nature and science. Time for serious implementation to #restorenature! x

TAKE HIM AWAY, BOYS: EU Parliamentarians voted overwhelmingly in favour of the renewed Environmental Crime Directive (ECD)—the EU-wide rules on environmental crime. Equipped with a longer list of crimes, higher sanctions and the inclusion of qualified offences for large scale environmental damage, the law is set to make life a little bit harder for environmental criminals. 

GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES: The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) will follow the NRL and ECD into the EU Parliament’s hot seat. Policymakers must stamp the final deal on this law aiming to limit emissions from the EU’s most polluting industry. It should share the fate of the already-approved files and be met with a thumbs up, as the final text has already been approved in the so-called ‘trilogue’ negotiations between the different EU decision making bodies. Even though such a vote is so often a formality, a few anti-science voices are keeping the future of the IED uncertain.


ALL BUT KILLED: Despite overwhelming support for this law among European citizens, EU capitals have turned their backs on the Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive. On Wednesday, the law was swept off the legislative table following resistance from Germany, spearheaded by the minority coalition member FDP, and a last-ditch effort by France to drastically limit its scope (by 86%!). It is bizarre to see such opposition to a law which would only make companies respect human rights and the environment—and it sends the wrong signal to businesses to continue seeking profit at any cost. 

FARMERS STRIKE AGAIN: On Monday, farmers descended on the EU capital to demonstrate their frustration, again. Farmers rightly demand decent pay and fair working conditions, not environmental rollbacks that jeopardise their livelihoods and the future of our collective food security. But EU policymakers’ response of removing environmental rules appears insensitive to this reality. While some EU leaders described the shredding of pesticide reduction plans as a “gift” for farmers, many farmers and others are increasingly noticing that this “gift” is for someone else entirely. Check out our social media explainer. 

THE TRUTH IS: Without an agri-food systems model that supports nature and considers the future of our food security, heavy costs will continue to be paid. Together with 21 organisations in the EU Food Policy Coalition, we sent a joint letter to EC President von der Leyen stressing that sustainable food systems must remain a core focus of the next EU Commission. 


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