The EU proposed a new environmental landmark bill to aid the 81% of Europe’s natural habitats that are classified as “poor condition,” but high political debate has been sparked. Many European Parliament lawmakers and European governments believe that this new bill may put too much pressure and regulation on the environmental industry. The original landmark bill promised the regulation and restoration of deteriorating habitats across Europe, but due to pushback, the EU’s environmental ministers struck a deal to waterdown parts to heighten needed appeal. 

Certain EU countries originally backed the landmark bill but only after the European Commission agreed to propose EU financial support to developing economies. Many countries weakened the original proposal; Germany completely opposed while Hungary, Italy, and Romania sought out increased support. 

The pushback—

One wanted revision would remove the obligation to ensure that the health of mudflats, grasslands, forests, and other surrounding habitats would not worsen. Instead they want a general aim to implement the necessary measures to prevent decreasing health. This would decrease the pressure of regulation, but there is significant room for error and neglect. Another wanted change would weaken targets to revive drained peatlands in countries such as Ireland, where dried bogs are farmed upon and the collected peat is converted into fuel. The opposing side believes that if regulation is apparent in one area, then there will be neglect in others, for instance the Netherlands believe that the original bill would slow down wind farm production and other economic activities. On the other hand, Ireland has stated that the bill gave hope to retracting previous negative environmental impacts and prevent further destruction while avoiding restrictions on other countries' economic advancements. 

"It makes me really sad that some are trying to draw climate policy to the culture wars. Because then you create sort of a tribal opposition. And once you get into a tribal opposition, facts don't matter," stated EU Climate Chief, Frans Timmerman.

Timmerman has stated that he is not worried about the opposing countries' revisions, but has an overall general concern about the lawmakers trying to block the bill from enactment. Both the EU countries and European Parliament must approve the final bill. The European Parliament’s largest group of lawmakers is rejecting the bill, leading with a campaign that argues the bill would threaten food production. Over 3,000 scientists have negated those claims, but the group is adamant about their statement. Their recent motion to reject the bill failed by a fractional loss.