O'Sullivan: SF voting against EU Nature Restoration Law proves it is not interested in climate

Published on: 29 February 2024

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Climate Action, Biodiversity and Environment Christopher O’Sullivan TD has criticised Sinn Fein for voting against the EU Nature Restoration Law, saying the opposition party has proved once again it is not interested in taking climate action measures.  
The Cork South West TD made the remarks after Sinn Fein MEP Chris McManus voted against the EU Nature Restoration Law. 
The law aiming to restore EU ecosystems by 2050 was passed by a margin of 54 votes in the European Parliament on February 27. 
Deputy O’Sullivan welcomed that Fianna Fáil MEPs had supported the law.
“I’m thrilled the Fianna Fáil MEPs supported this progressive law,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.
"But it was disappointing to note that Sinn Fein voted against the law, despite previously supporting it. Sinn Fein MEP Chris McManus last June described the new restoration law text as striking a balance for nature and farmers. However today, he had done a u-turn and voted against it.
“It is not surprising though, because time and time again Sinn Fein have shown that action to improve the environment and nature does not seem to be popular enough for them.”  
Deputy O’Sullivan described the approval of the law as a great result for those who want to protect the environment, adding that farmers had nothing to fear.
“We can no longer turn a blind eye to all the trends in terms of biodiversity, that are going in the wrong direction,” he said. 
“We clearly need some dramatic measures to stem these trends and protect wildlife and biodiversity. Considering the law looked in jeopardy a number of months ago this is a great result for all those interested in the environment and biodiversity. 
“It’s important to note that there are measures contained in the law which will protect farmers and the viability of farming. I know that many farmers are concerned about the consequences of the Nature Restoration Law, but having read the measures I’m confident it will not negatively impact Irish farmers. 
“Over 46,000 farmers have signed up to the Government’s Acres scheme showing that Irish farmers are interested in protecting biodiversity. They have nothing to fear from the Nature Restoration Law. There will be efforts to scaremonger farmers that they should be wary of this but that is not the case. 
“Fianna Fáil in Government is committed to ensuring farming flourishes in Ireland, but we also need to make sure our environment is protected.”