The EU’s flagship nature law failed to pass a key committee vote Tuesday, jeopardizing a key pillar of the bloc’s Green Deal plans.
Lawmakers in the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) voted 44 in favor to 44 against on adopting a position on the contentious Nature Restoration Law. A tie amounts to rejection, as it means there is no majority in favor.
The legislation, an ambitious plan to return the Continent’s degraded natural areas to a healthy state, will nevertheless go to a plenary vote in the Parliament; the vote is scheduled for July 11.
With two other committees having already voted against the proposal, ENVI’s failure to submit a position on the bill means MEPs will now have three weeks to find a compromise that’s acceptable to a majority in the whole Parliament, or risk rejection of the entire law.
The backlash against the Nature Restoration Law was led by conservative MEPs and farmers’ groups, who claimed that the proposed rules threaten farmers’ livelihoods and Europe’s food security — something the European Commission and scientists deny.
A conservative push to reject the entire bill failed at an ENVI Committee meeting earlier this month. MEPs then ran out of time to go through all the amendments to the law during the session, pushing the final vote to Tuesday.
EU environment ministers agreed a common position on the file on June 20.