Deputy Carol Nolan, left, and Minister of State Senator Pippa Hackett, right.

Offaly Oireachtas members differ over Nature Restoration Law

Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has described the EU Natura Restoration Law passed today as "“the last sting of a dying Green wasp.”

She said profound opposition will continue to characterise most farmers responses to the controversial EU Nature Restoration Law, which was passed by a qualified majority in the European Council.

Deputy Nolan said that the recent EU elections made it ‘abundantly clear’ that the people of the European union member states were ‘sick and tired of having mandatory, so-called, green polices rammed down their throat’:

“The Greens were delivered almost total annihilation at EU level in the recent elections, losing the majority, if not all, of their MEPs in several member states including Ireland,” said Deputy Nolan.

“Yet despite this resounding rejection we are now stuck with the legislative ghost of Greens past with a restoration law that will create nothing but high levels of future uncertainty and the imposition of yet another raft of mandatory objectives.”

“Farmers and food security are not served by a law whose outcomes will only make it harder to produce sufficient amounts of produce on less and less land reserved exclusively for agriculture,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

However, local Green Party minister Pippa Hackett welcomed approval of the Nature Restoration Law in the EU Environment Council

Minister Pippa Hackett said: “Now that this important legislation has been passed, farmers have to be at the centre of nature restoration in Ireland. Farmers produce the food we eat and they are already directly impacted by climate change more than any other cohort, so we need to support and include them every step of the way when devising and implementing our national restoration plan.”

Under the Regulation, EU countries are expected to submit National Restoration Plans to the Commission within two years, showing how they will deliver on the targets. They will also be required to monitor and report on their progress.

Minister Hackett concluded “We have to provide certainty and guaranteed funding streams for diversification and nature restoration. These are exciting but challenging times, and we can achieve our targets if we all work together in the same direction.”

IFA President Francie Gorman said that the passing of the Nature Restoration Law by the EU Council of Environment Ministers was no great surprise.

“It was always likely that the law pass once the EU elections were over. Farmers will see the post-trilogue stalling of this law by Member States as a piece of pre-election political theatre,” he said.

“The approach by the Commission to bring in a law in this area rather than a properly- funded, EU-wide, voluntary scheme is totally wrong. The reality is that there is a huge amount of uncertainty about how this law is going to be interpreted at Member State level,” he said.

“No national impact assessment has been carried out and we have no idea how it will impact on food production, and ultimately on food security,” he said.

“The Irish Government was wrong to support the introduction of this law without the completion of an impact assessment and a dedicated budget to support its implementation,” he said.

“A huge of amount of work is now needed on how this law will be implemented in Ireland. I want to make it clear that IFA will not stand for farmers’ property rights or their right to farm their land being undermined,” he said.

See here for full story on the passing of the EU Nature Restoration Law