Nature and Biodiversity

Business leaders: why the EU must adopt the Nature Restoration Law

The EU Nature Restoration Law aligns with several targets in the Global Biodiversity Framework.

The EU Nature Restoration Law aligns with several targets in the Global Biodiversity Framework. Image: suju-foto/Pixabay

Eva Zabey
CEO, Business for Nature
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Nature and Biodiversity?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Climate Crisis is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Climate and Nature

This article is part of: Centre for Nature and Climate

Listen to the article

  • The EU’s Nature Restoration Law is intended to repair damage done to European nature by 2050. This is critical for the economy given the amount of economic activity dependent on nature.
  • Analysis suggests implementing nature-positive policies could generate an estimated $10 trillion in new annual business value and create 395 million jobs by 2030.
  • This element of the EU Green Deal is at risk owing to political concern about a burden on farmers, once again focusing on short-term politics instead of long-term action.

CEOs and business leaders from 50 companies including CNP Assurance, H&M Group, IKEA, L’Occitane en Provence, Legal and General Investment Management, Nestlé, Novozymes, Salesforce, Triodos Bank, Unilever and Velux, among others, are calling for ambitious environmental legislation.

Have you read?

With growing concerns over the simultaneous climate emergency and nature emergency, these leaders emphasize the need for timely and effective EU regulation to address the negative impacts on our planet.

The EU must adopt the Nature Restoration Law

Following other recent appeals from businesses and investors, the urgent adoption of the EU Nature Restoration Law stands out as a vital step toward combatting nature degradation in Europe. The significance of ambitious environmental legislation has been echoed by numerous business and investor networks, including more than 1,400 companies supporting the ‘Nature Is Everyone’s Business’ call to action, which urges governments globally to take immediate action to halt and reverse nature loss in this decade.

In December 2022, world governments adopted the Global Biodiversity Framework, which includes a mission to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, but some lobby groups are seeking a “regulatory pause” on environmental legislation in Europe.

The EU Nature Restoration Law aligns with several targets in the Global Biodiversity Framework and a failure to adopt it would show both a dilution of ambition and impede the EU’s progress in fulfilling the global agreement and its ability to contribute towards the transition to a nature-positive, net-zero and equitable economy.


What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

“There will be no thriving businesses without nature and the services and resources it provides,” says Adrien Geiger, Managing Director of L'Occitane en Provence. “Together with many other European businesses, L’Occitane en Provence is urging EU leaders to adopt ambitious environmental legislation, including the forthcoming EU Nature Restoration Law. Not only to deliver on the ambitious commitments in the Global Biodiversity Framework but to protect nature and ensure stronger accountability and better-informed decisions by investors, governments, consumers and businesses.”

One of the transformative targets set by the Global Biodiversity Framework requires large companies and financial institutions to assess and disclose their risks, impacts and dependencies on nature.

More than 400 companies have supported the call to make this disclosure mandatory in order to increase accountability and responsibility. This would not only hasten action, but engage investors and consumers and help protect the rights of Indigenous people and local communities. The forthcoming implementation standards of the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will play a significant role in ensuring transparency and encouraging positive action on nature.

The EU sets the pace globally

If we are to have any hope of turning the tide of nature loss, addressing the most damaging effects of climate change and tackling growing inequality, we need governments to put legally binding laws and regulations in place. We will not be able to effectively tackle climate change without protecting, restoring and sustainably managing nature.

According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), in the last decade, the world’s oceans, plants, animals and soils have absorbed more than half of human-related carbon emissions. Put simply: nature is our best ally in preventing catastrophic climate breakdown.

Recognized as a global leader in enacting progressive environmental legislation, the EU has successfully struck a balance between nature protection and socio-economic priorities. The signatories of the open letter acknowledge the EU’s track record and urge policy leaders to seize the opportunity to leave a historic legacy by delivering a comprehensive EU Green Deal. Sustaining this leadership is crucial, not only for driving international action, but also for demonstrating the EU’s commitment to addressing environmental challenges.

IPCC: Pull the Emergency Brake on Global CO2 Emissions
Global IPCC data suggests CO2 emissions would have to drop by 45% to 17.9 billion by 2030 to avoid climate catastrophe. Image: IPCC/Global Carbon Project/Statista

“Natural capital is indispensable to our global economy, but it is being destroyed at an alarming rate. This creates a long-term systemic market risk,” says Michael Marks, Head of Investment Stewardship & Responsible Investment Integration, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). “As agreed at COP15, we must all strengthen our efforts to protect and restore ecosystems and achieve the goal of ‘living in harmony with nature’ by 2050. It is vital that policy-makers in the EU seize the opportunity by translating global agreements into practical action.”

In the transition to a more sustainable future, managing the process with transparency and sensitivity is paramount. It is essential to support stakeholders such as farmers, fishermen, Indigenous communities and local populations who manage our shared natural resources. The costs of “business as usual” will bring much greater challenges and risks for the economy.

Land degradation costs more than 10% of global GDP in ecosystem services. In the European area alone, it is estimated that approximately three million companies are highly dependent on at least one ecosystem service, which, if nature loss continues, would translate into critical economic problems.

Delaying action would exacerbate the challenges posed by climate change and nature degradation, as the earth is already operating beyond safe and just limits for humanity. However, by taking immediate action, businesses and investors can tap into significant opportunities.

The World Economic Forum estimates that nature-positive products and services could generate up to $10 trillion annually for businesses. Embracing ambitious environmental action not only mitigates risks but also unlocks economic potential and drives the transformation to a nature-positive economy.

The earth is already operating beyond safe and just limits for humanity
The earth is already operating beyond safe and just limits for humanity. Image: Global Footprint Network/Statista

Urgent and ambitious leadership

Now, more than ever, courageous leadership is needed to take bold action. Leading companies stand ready to collaborate with governments to deliver the Global Biodiversity Framework. The coming months are critical for starting implementation of the framework and achieving tangible outcomes for nature. The adoption of the EU Nature Restoration Law and robust implementation standards for the CSRD are pivotal steps on this transformative journey.

“With growing concerns over the dual climate and nature emergencies, Holcim, along with more than 50 other companies, supports European policy-makers in adopting comprehensive environmental policies and regulations, emphasizing the need for effective EU regulation to address the negative impacts on our planet,” says Magali Anderson, Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer, Holcim. “With the EU’s track record of delivering progressive policies, it is critical that the policy framework supports increased ambition, transforming our economies and societies to safeguard nature, climate, and livelihoods.”

To combat the pressing climate and nature emergencies, governments must act now to deliver ambitious and binding environmental legislation. The voice of businesses highlights the urgent need for such action. This is the only way we can ensure a transparent transition and build a thriving, resilient economy that safeguards nature and climate while benefiting both current and future generations.

This blog post was original published by SG Voice.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Nature and BiodiversityClimate ActionGeographies in Depth
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Ban these companies from advertising, says UN chief, and other nature and climate stories you need to read this week

Michael Purton

June 13, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum