The Nature Restoration Law adopted by European Parliament on Wednesday, faced criticism by ruling camp and opposition Polish politicians, over the potential consequences it could have for agriculture and forestry.
Critics argue that it would hit farmers and lead to limiting food production and increasing its prices. Despite the appeals by green NGOs, most Polish MEPs from the ruling coalition and the centre-liberal Civic Platform, the biggest opposition party, voted against the proposed position.
“The EU House’s (position on) the Nature Restoration Law leading to reducing the agricultural land by 10% would harm Europe’s food security,” tweeted Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, leader of opposition centrist Polish People’s Party (PSL).
Under the negotiating position, the EU must have restoration measures in place by 2030 covering at least 20% of its land and sea areas, according to the Parliament’s press release.
He said the effect would be a collapse of thousands of farms, rising food prices and greater dependence on imports, calling for “those horrible changes” to be reversed.
The new draft law means liquidating millions of hectares of agricultural land, which will practically destroy European agriculture, according to the Polish ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party MEP, former prime minister Beata Szydło.
Under Brussels’ vision, in over seven years Europe will become a big reserve, with no agriculture and with the industry hit by high energy prices, she tweeted, adding that “people, jobs, food do not interest the radicals from Brussels.”
MEPs who voted in favour of the negotiating position stress that restoring the ecosystem is essential to tackling climate change and biodiversity loss and reduces risks to food security.
They also argue that the draft law does not impose the creation of new protected areas in the EU. Neither does it blocks new renewable energy infrastructure, they add.
Contrary to Poland’s concerns, rapporteur César Luena said the Nature Restoration Law “follows the scientific consensus and recommendations to restore Europe’s ecosystems,” and both farmers and fishers will benefit from it.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)