Fact Check: EU Law On Nature Restoration NOT Aiming To Exterminate People By 2050

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: EU Law On Nature Restoration NOT Aiming To Exterminate People By 2050 Restore = Mend

Is a law on nature restoration that was recently adopted by the European Parliament proof the EU wants to exterminate people and take control over their lands? No, that's not true: The legislation aims to ensure that member states take action to repair damaged ecosystems by 2050 in order to meet the Union's climate and biodiversity objectives.

The claim originated from this video (archived here), posted on TikTok on February 28, 2024, by user @iondragoshoreaba2023 (profile archived here), with a caption translated into English from Romanian by Lead Stories staff that reads:

A clear proof that they want to get rid of us. Nature will be 90% restored before 2050.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Mar 1 08:59:30 2024 UTC)

A screenshot of a press release from the EU Parliament on the nature restoration law (archived here), dated February 27, 2024, is visible behind the narrator who says, as translated:

The law says that all lands must be restored to their original state. What does it mean? That where there was a field there will be a field again, where there was a swamp there will be a swamp again, where there were rivers and now there are dams, there will be rivers again and the dams will disappear. Arable lands, pastures, and orchards will disappear and return to their original state because that is what the people at Brussels want. 90% of the surface of Europe must go back to its original state, we must go back to feudalism. What will become of the population? It must die. We, the common people, have to die because that's what the EU wants. It's not nonsense, it's a law. (...) These bastards are going to exterminate us.

The speaker misinterprets the legislative resolution of February 27, 2024, (archived here), whose aim is to mend degraded ecosystems in the EU by bringing those habitats from poor to good condition and ensuring the affected areas don't further deteriorate.

It does not claim the EU would transform all formerly natural areas that have been re-purposed for human use back to their original state, nor take control over privately owned lands or acts that would lead to the extermination of people that use land.

According to the press release, EU member states will have to restore at least 30 percent of degraded habitats (from forests, grasslands, and wetlands to rivers, lakes, and coral beds) from poor to good condition by 2030, increasing to 60 percent by 2040, and to 90 percent by 2050.

Member states will also have to restore at least 25,000 km of rivers into free-flowing rivers. When removing artificial barriers, the law mentions, the countries "should primarily address obsolete barriers, which are those that are no longer needed for renewable energy generation, inland navigation, water supply or other uses."

The law also requires an additional three billion trees to be planted and a positive trend in several indicators such as forest ecosystems, the grassland butterfly index, the share of agricultural land with high-diversity landscape features, the stock of organic carbon in cropland mineral soil, the common farmland bird index.

Each member state is required to adopt its own national restoration plan to show how it intends to reach the overall targets.

The nature restoration law was proposed by the EU Commission in June 2022 (archived here), to achieve EU climate and biodiversity objectives and to contribute to the long-term recovery of damaged nature across the EU's land and sea areas. A 2020 report by the European Environment Agency (archived here) showed that over 80 percent of European habitats are in poor shape.

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  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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