Author Archives: Ruth Chambers

Covid-19 and the parliamentary process: initial observations


intext-blog-ruth-wesminster-emptyThe Covid-19 virus, our personal health and safety and the response by the government and public health authorities are rightly occupying much of our work and home life at present. A rapid metamorphosis in how parliament operates is underway to deal with the threat. This could lead to both opportunities and challenges for how we engage with parliamentarians, how laws will be scrutinised and how the government will be held to account. Read more

MPs of all parties want a groundbreaking Environment Bill, but will it deliver?

intext-butterfly-blogThe Environment Bill passed an important parliamentary milestone on Wednesday with its second reading. This is a clear sign that there is strong cross-party support for the bill in principle. But, as many MPs said during the debate, the bill is not yet good enough, either to address the environmental crisis or to meet the government’s aspiration to set out the most ambitious environmental programme on earth. Read more

Return of the Environment Bill

intext-blog-House_of_Commons_Chamber_1This post was first published in Business Green 

The Environment Bill makes a welcome return to Parliament next week in a prime slot after Prime Minister’s questions. It is wide-ranging and includes important measures on four critical foundations of our natural environment: nature, air, water and resources and waste. But its lasting legacy will be a new environmental governance system for England and Northern Ireland. Read more

The new government has the chance to make the Environment Bill a game-changer

Intext-Ruth-BlogThe Environment Bill, published at the end of October, has given us a glimpse of what environmental regulation could look like after Brexit. Positioned as a “huge star” of the government’s legislation programme, the bill got off to a promising start. But it, like all other bills in train, will fall due to a general election being called. Its fate now lies in the hands of a new government.

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The State of Nature has shown us the problem, now we need legal action

intext_hedghog-stateof-nature_blogA comprehensive study of the state of the UK’s natural environment shows no let up in the decline of our natural world. Experts from more than 70 wildlife organisations have joined with government agencies to present the clearest picture to date of the health of our species across land and sea. It’s pretty grim.

No part of our precious ecosystem is untouched. Many of our most loved species are threatened, including hedgehogs, wild cats, hares, bats, butterflies and birds.

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It’s time for government to set a new environmental baseline

BigBen-blogimageThis blog was first posted on Business Green.

The government’s environment legislative programme is in disarray. Earlier this month, bills that were halfway through their passage, including on agriculture, fisheries and trade, were lost as parliament was prorogued. The Environment Bill meanwhile is yet to appear in full. Read more

Michael Gove believes in a bold green agenda, but what about the next PM?

gove cropIn what could be his last days as environment secretary, Michael Gove has delivered an agenda setting speech in which he lamented the catastrophic loss of biodiversity across the globe and at home, highlighting that the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world. He drew attention to the many other environmental threats we face, including the scourge of plastic pollution, toxic air and threats to water quality. Michael Gove’s self-confessed conversion from ‘shy green’ to ‘full-throated environmentalist’ is now complete. Read more

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