Victory for ecosystems, species and people: the EU Nature Restoration Law is officially approved

17 June 2024

This is a joint statement from the major youth organizations that work on biodiversity at the European level, the European Young Rewilders, Generation Climate Europe, the Youth & Environment Europe network, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network Europe and its national chapters. 

27 runners representing the EU Member States took part in a symbolic relay race around the European Commission in Brussels on 28 October 2021 calling on the EU to adopt the law. Credits: WWF European Policy Office

In today’s memorable meeting, the EU Council approved the Nature Restoration Law, making it a reality for millions of European citizens and a true step to reverse the massive environmental degradation and biodiversity loss we are witnessing today.

With 20 countries supporting the law and only 7 abstaining or opposing (Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and Finland), thanks to the last-minute change of position of Austria, Member States went through with their previous promises and listened to science and EU citizens.

The youth has tirelessly advocated for the adoption of this pivotal legislation over the past three years, joining forces to battle the massive disinformation around nature restoration carried out by conservative political forces and interest groups.

For us, the law has always been not only about saving our ecosystems and species, but also a matter of intergenerational justice and democracy. This milestone of EU legislation will ensure compliance with international agreements like the Convention on Biological Diversity (ahead of COP16) to protect our environment for future generations to come.

Now it is time to make this law happen on the ground. The final text has been heavily watered down throughout the process, and it is of utmost importance to make sure Member States fulfill the obligations they just committed themselves to. We as European youth will continue to advocate for ambitious national restoration plans that make sure young voices are included in these efforts.