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EU Parliament in Strasbourg (archive image)

Photo: Jean-Francois Badias/dpa

A majority of the EU Parliament has spoken out in favor of a controversial nature conservation law, the Renaturation Act.

In order for nature to recover in the EU, more trees should be planted in the future, moors should be rewetted and rivers should be restored to their natural state.

The EU states still have to agree to the project, but this is considered very likely.

The law was preceded by a heated dispute, among other things because strict requirements for farmers were feared.

The Christian Democrats in particular were against the project and tried to put it on hold completely.

After they were able to achieve many of their demands in negotiations, individual Christian Democrats spoke out in favor of the project.

Climate politician Peter Liese said that practically all of the concerns of farmers, forest owners, rural communities and representatives of renewable energies had been eliminated.

The leader of the Christian Democrats group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber (CSU), said that the law would introduce additional regulations for farmers.

He left it open which exactly.

The European farmers' association Copa-Cogeca also spoke out against the law.

Greens, environmental associations, scientists and numerous companies supported the law.

“The European Parliament is voting against populism and misinformation and is introducing the first law to restore destroyed ecosystems,” says Green EU MP Jutta Paulus to SPIEGEL.

The new renaturation law brings measures against the extinction of species, natural solutions to mitigate the climate crisis and adapt to climate change.

The German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) was relieved by the decision from Brussels.

»This is great news.

We all depend on intact and healthy ecosystems,” said Lemke, who is currently in Kenya for the UN Environmental Assembly.

"With today's approval in the European Parliament, Europe is now clearly committed to protecting and restoring our nature and environment," said Lenke, praising the decision. It was "good that this sense of responsibility has prevailed today."