July 10, 2023
The European Commission’s proposal for a Nature Restoration Law is a key piece of legislation for cities for two reasons:
1) Increasing tree canopies, biodiversity and access to nature for citizens to ensure that cities remain habitable in the face of the numerous impacts of climate change.
2) Nature restoration is also a vital measure to protect cities from increasing natural threats such as wildfires, flooding and drought.
Nature restoration is also a vital measure to protect cities from increasing natural threats such as wildfires, flooding and drought.
There were concerns that the obligations as outlined in the proposed legislation were not realistic for cities that already had extensive green space but the EU Council’s agreement to better nuance the obligations means that these concerns have been addressed. Energy Cities can therefore fully support the proposal in the European Parliament and calls on all MEPs, from rural and urban areas, to vote in favour of the proposal.
Energy Cities can therefore fully support the proposal in the European Parliament and calls on all MEPs, from rural and urban areas, to vote in favour of the proposal.
Cities are often built in valleys and do not control what happens in uplands. Overgrazing and deforestation has greatly reduced the ability of those uplands to absorb rainwater – combined with more intense rainfall because of climate change this means a much higher threat of flooding in our cities. Nature Restoration would help reduce this threat.
At the same time, drought is also an increasing threat for European cities. The implications of cities running out of water is catastrophic. Nature restoration will help to redirect intense rains into existing water tables and help improve the resilience of cities.
Actually achieving the objectives of the Nature Restoration Law will of course also require more support to cities. It is something which must be taken into account right from the beginning as cities seek to transform the buildings, transport, food, heat and electricity networks that underpin our modern metropolises. This is a level of planning and administration most cities and towns have never contemplated and it must be done ever more quickly. Delaying any agreement on the vital Nature Restoration Law simply makes the necessary transformation of our cities all the more challenging.