BRUSSELS — The European Union is facing a cliffhanger vote next month that will test its global climate and environmental credentials, after its parliament was again deadlocked on pushing a nature restoration bill onwards on Tuesday.

The legislature’s environment committee emerged deadlocked at 44-44 on the plan to beef up the restoration of nature in the 27-nation bloc that was damaged during decades of industrial expansion. It means the full parliament will be asked to reject it.

“The fight is not over. We will do our utmost to rally forces throughout the hemicycle behind an ambitious law to the benefit of people and the planet,” said socialist S&D legislator Mohammed Chahim.

The parliament’s biggest group, the Christian Democrat EPP, has turned against the plan, arguing it is bad for embattled farmers and puts food security at risk at a time when the war in Ukraine has shown that strategic autonomy on foodstuffs can be essential.

The bill is a key part of the EU’s vaunted European Green Deal that seeks to set the globe’s best climate and biodiversity targets and make the bloc the point of reference on all climate issues. The plans proposed by the EU’s executive commission set binding restoration targets for specific habitats and species, with the aim by 2030 to cover at least 20% of the region’s land and sea areas.

The EU’s executive commission wants the nature restoration law to be a key part of the system since it is necessary for the overall deal to have the maximum input. Others also say that if the EU fails on the nature restoration law, it will be indicative of an overall fatigue when it comes to climate issues.

The Green Deal includes a wide range of measures, from reducing energy consumption to sharply cutting transportation emissions and reforming the EU’s trading system for greenhouse gases.

Last week, the EU governments already backed the plan but if the parliament rejects it at its June 101-13 plenary session, the bill would have to be fully reworked, and in essence, diluted at a time when scientists and international institutions like the United Nations call for extra efforts, not fewer.


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