20 Mar 2024, 10:10
Julian Wettengel

Germany will agree to EU nature restoration law – environment ministry

Clean Energy Wire / Table.Media / Reuters

The German government has said it will give its consent to the EU nature restoration law in an upcoming member state meeting which is set to give the final green light to the disputed legislation. "Germany will agree to the EU Nature Restoration Law and state for the record that its implementation should not result in any additional burdens for farmers," said a spokesperson of the environment ministry. Media had reported in recent days that government coalition party the Free Democrats (FDP) had put up last-minute resistance. Table Media had first reported that finance minister Christian Lindner of the FDP informed other ministries he would not to sign off on the legislation. Reuters quoted EU officials as saying that the policy hangs in the balance as a result. Without Germany's backing, it would struggle to win approval from the reinforced majority of EU countries it needs to pass, wrote the news agency. The country's environment minister Steffi Lemke (Green Party) had said that she remained confident that EU governments will give their blessing to the law in a meeting on 25 March. "I am very confident that we will succeed," said the minister at the Europe 2024 conference organised by several newspapers in Berlin.

The development is the latest example of the FDP skirting the traditional EU legislative process and opposing a deal made earlier in negotiations between the European Parliament and member state governments, with the EU's corporate sustainability due diligence directive (CSDDD) and the ban of new combustion engine cars from 2035 as earlier examples. The nature restoration law has been disputed for some time, and especially the weeks of major farmer protests across Europe and opposition from right-wing and conservative parties have threatened to torpedo the deal.

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