EU COUNTRIES SPLIT OVER NATURE POLICY IN LATEST BLOW TO GREEN AGENDA

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EU COUNTRIES SPLIT OVER NATURE POLICY IN LATEST BLOW TO GREEN AGENDA –  Hungary withdrew its support for the bill

The European Union’s flagship policy to restore damaged nature is hanging in the balance, with a vote to pass the law cancelled after Hungary withdrew its support for the bill.

A vote on the law among EU countries’ environment ministers was called off after Hungary said last week it would no longer back the policy – wiping out the already-slim reinforced majority of countries in favour.

The nature law is the latest EU environmental policy to come under fire as policymakers try to respond to months of angry farmers’ protests over complaints including strict green EU regulations. The EU has already weakened numerous green rules to attempt to quell the protests.

The law would be among the EU’s biggest environmental policies, requiring countries to introduce measures restoring nature on a fifth of their land and sea by 2030.

Its aim is to turn around the 81% of Europe’s natural habitats that are classed as in poor condition. But the policy has faced a backlash from some governments and lawmakers concerned it would impose burdensome rules on farmers, or clash with other industries.

Other countries including Italy, Poland and Sweden have opposed the law, while Belgium and Austria are set to abstain, EU officials said.

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