Leonore Gewessler voted in favor of the renaturation law in the EU Environment Council today. Austria's Environment Minister has thus made the adoption of this historic nature conservation law possible for Europe and is making history with her courageous decision.


Leonore Gewessler has not allowed herself to be deterred by the ÖVP's anti-nature blockade attitude and, as the responsible minister, is taking responsibility for genuine nature conservation.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Ursula Bittner says:

"This decision is a milestone for Europe. Environment Minister Gewessler has taken full ecological responsibility and thus made the most important nature conservation law ever for Europe possible. This is great news for our nature, countless endangered species and our future."

Bittner sharply criticizes the ÖVP:

"Federal Chancellor Nehammer and the ÖVP provinces are trying to prevent nature conservation by hook or by crook and against the will of the people of Austria. In times of devastating floods, extreme weather events and rapidly dwindling biodiversity, the ÖVP is behaving absolutely blindly and irresponsibly. Now Nehammer is threatening the minister with an absurd action for annulment. In the past, the ÖVP itself has often enough approved EU laws single-handedly."

An intact natural environment is essential for our survival and in the fight against the climate crisis. The Renaturation Act aims to rewet moors, reforest forests and restore rivers. All of this helps us to mitigate extreme weather events, environmental pollution and their consequences and maintains our food security in the long term.

"The ÖVP must finally listen to science and also to the population and stop its petty confrontation course," says Bittner.