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European Union countries try to pass law to restore ecosystems

A group of 11 countries, led by Ireland, has made a last-ditch attempt to pass the European Union's flagship policy to restore damaged ecosystems, amid concerns the law could be shelved after EU elections in June.

The law would be among the EU's biggest environmental policies, requiring countries to introduce measures to restore nature to a fifth of their land and seas by 2030.

EU countries had planned to approve the policy in March, but canceled the vote after Hungary unexpectedly withdrew its support to eliminate the slim majority in favor.

“Restoring ecosystems is essential to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change and to safeguard European food security,” the 11 countries said in a letter to environment ministers from other EU countries, published on Tuesday ( 14).

“Our failure as EU leaders to act now would fundamentally undermine public faith in our political leadership,” they said.

The letter was signed by Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain.

EU countries and lawmakers reached a deal last year, but some warned of burdensome rules on industries. Farmers have organized protests across Europe over issues including strict EU regulations.

EU diplomats said on Tuesday (14) that no country has changed its position on the law since March – leaving members at an impasse.

Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden are opposed to the nature policy, while Austria, Belgium, Finland and Poland intend to abstain. Other EU members support the policy.

“We need a country,” said one EU diplomat.

The 11 countries suggested presenting the law for approval at a meeting of environment ministers on June 17.

The date would be days after European Parliament elections, something that could give countries political space to support the law, EU officials have suggested.

Polls suggest the election will yield an EU Parliament made up of right-wing parties more skeptical of environmental policies.

Source: CNN Brasil

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