Dear reader,

Welcome back to Publyon’s monthly Sustainability Newsletter.  As we gear up for the festive season and the year-end, we’ve wrapped up the latest insights just for you. Join us in the warmth of holiday cheer as we explore the last batch of developments this year, spreading joy and knowledge as we head into a well-deserved winter vacation.

In this edition, we clarify what to expect from the controversial Nature Restoration Law and share with you key take-aways to prepare your company for upcoming Critical Raw Materials Act. Last but not least, we prepared a special holiday treat for you with exclusive tips and tricks from the European Commission.

Wishing you a magical and insightful holiday season!

Christmas is upon us, and this month Publyon will be Santa Claus for a small group of newsletter readers. Be the lucky one! 

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The spotlight

The spotlight

Provisional agreement reached on Nature Restoration Law

In the spotlight of our last newsletter, we dived into the policies that fall under the European Green Deal and that have not been finalised so far. One of these policies we listed, is the Nature Restoration Law. The legislation has been the subject of many heated and controversial debates in both the Council and the Parliament in the last months and gained a lot of media attention due to the narrow plenary vote on 11 July that almost resulted in this crucial Green Deal legislation to be rejected and returned to the Commission. With the last months of the legislative procedures in sight, the milestone legislation seems to be headed for the last sprint before adoption.

On Thursday 9 November, the European Commission welcomed a provisional agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Nature Restoration Law. This is a pivotal moment for all companies having an impact on the environment, whether positive or not so much so. But what are the specific targets of the provisional agreement and next steps?


Specific objectives and targets of the provisional agreement

The law aims to continuously recover EU’s natural habitats, by establishing an overarching EU target to restore a minimum of 20% of the EU’s land areas and seas by 2030 and extending these measures to all ecosystems requiring restoration by 2050.

Member States are mandated to develop national restoration plans tailored to local contexts, aiming for synergies with climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation and disaster prevention, as well as with agriculture and forestry.

Additionally, it calls for prioritising restoration measures in protected sites until 2030 (allowing Member States to go beyond) and to restore 30% of drained peatlands by 2030, but rewetting peatlands remains voluntarily for farmers and private landowners.


What’s next?

The final text awaits formal adoption by the Parliament and Council before publication and entry into force.

Once adopted, Member States are required to submit their first nature restoration plan to the Commission within two years of the regulation taking effect. The law will be a key contribution to reaching climate neutrality by 2050, and increasing Europe’s preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change.

Policy update

Policy update

EU Institutions Reach Provisional Agreement on Critical Raw Materials

On 13 November, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have reached a provisional agreement on the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), meant as an effort to curtail the dependence the EU has on countries like China, which supplies about 95% of the EU’s rare earths.



What will the CRMA ensure?

  • By 2030 the EU should domestically produce at least 10% and process at least 40% of strategic materials needed each year.
  • At least 25% of the EU’s annual use of CRMs should come from the recycling of these materials.
  • No more than 65% of the annual consumption of each CRMs should come from a single country outside of the EU, at any relevant stage of processing.



Main elements of the provisional agreement

  • Upon Member State approval, projects that create innovative raw materials replacing strategic ones in relevant technologies may be considered for strategic project status.
  • 18 months after entry into force, Commission to report on the estimated consumption of each CRM for the next 30 years.
  • Unified permit procedure timings.



Next steps

The Parliament and the Council agreement needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions. After formal adoption, the Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and will enter into force in all Member States. The provisions will be directly applicable in all Member States in their entirety.



What does it mean for your business?

With the agreement reached by the regulators, companies will need to:

  • Anticipate and prepare their businesses to ensure the resilience and compliance of their supply chains with the new standards.
  • Review their product portfolio and map the CRMs they rely on.
  • Engage with CRM suppliers and invest in R&D to use recycled materials.


This will enable companies to gain a competitive advantage as well as an understanding of the resilience of their products and supply chains.

Expert interview

Expert interview

Christmas treat: insights from the European Commission

As the year draws to a close, we at Publyon continue our commitment to deliver the best insights to our readers. In the spirit of the festive season and our dedication to providing you with exclusive information, we are thrilled to announce a special Christmas treat—a series of valuable and exclusive insights shared by a distinguished high-level official in the European Commission. This exclusive series aims to provide guidance to companies on how they can enhance their lobbying efforts within the EU’s green and digital transition.


How can companies advocate their ambitions on the twin transition effectively?

The current emphasis is on ongoing file negotiations and implementation. The next Commission mandate will focus largely on the implementation of the files meant to materialise the twin transition. Businesses are encouraged to submit proposals and engage with the European Commission and Member States for priorities in the next Commission. Active engagement in the bottom-up process that shape the EU political landscape and policy is highly welcome in the next period, as the Commission is preparing its agenda for the next term.


Twin transition has become a buzz-word lately but how is the digital transition linked to the green one?

The Commission anticipates a number of trends in the EU’s near digital future, including significant developments in Green ICT, energy-efficient technologies, and advancements in AI. As repeatedly highlighted by the Commission official, the EU green and technology transitions are mutually reinforcing, and it is the European Commission’s top priority to ensure that the regulatory frameworks and funding opportunities reflect that. Consequently, business stakeholders are encouraged to seize the opportunity and position themselves as key enablers, as the Commission is preparing its priorities and to do-list for the next mandate.


Is there need for more data regulation?

I hope that the Commission takes a measured approach, avoiding the introduction of further policy files on data. There already are robust structures provided by the Data Act, which effectively support data-based innovations in businesses, including the creation of European common data space. A regulatory framework that prioritizes flexibility is more desirable compared to rigid vertical rules.


Is it true that the AI act aims to strain innovation?

The idea that the AI act aims to strain innovation is a false alarm. The AI Act adopts a risk-based approach to enhance innovation and dispels concerns about its strain on SMEs. Ongoing efforts address specific concerns from Member States regarding foundation models.

Eliza Druta

Eliza Druta

Hi, my name is Eliza and I am curating this newsletter to bring Brussels’ main sustainability insights to your inbox, every month. Do not hesitate to reach out should you need more information on the newsletter’s content or if you have suggestions for our next editions.