This post is by Sarah Graham of WWF Cymru.
With 22 days until we leave the European Union, the Welsh government’s plans for how it intends to retain and improve environmental protections remain a mystery. Unlike its counterparts in England and Scotland, it has not published any consultation proposals or draft legislation. Leaving the EU without these plans in place could have very damaging implications for people and nature. Read more
This post is by Lord Robin Teverson, chair of the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee.
Back in February 2017, our committee published the report of its inquiry on Brexit, the environment and climate change. While covering a wide range of issues, one of the key findings was the vital role that the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union play in ensuring that member states (including the UK) comply with environmental legislation. We heard evidence that the effectiveness of EU regulation was due, in part, to the deterrent effect of the power of EU institutions to hold member states to account and to levy fines upon them for non-compliance. From recycling targets, to air quality plans, to nature conservation, we heard that the threat of EU infraction had shaped the UK’s environmental policy. Read more
On 16 February, the Scottish Government issued a consultation on environmental principles and governance in Scotland. It is easy to miss the importance of this, after all what do principles and governance mean in practice?
Quite a bit as it turns out. Read more
This post is by Emily Hunter, Nature and Environment Protection Officer at RSPB NI.
With Brexit day fast approaching, the UK government is pushing ahead with a new Environment Bill. However, the environment is a devolved matter and Northern Ireland is still without a government, so there is a very real risk that it will end up being left behind. Read more
This was originally posted on Mark Avery’s website.
Imagine that the environment movement was able to force the government to concede substantive change to a controversial piece of legislation central to its agenda and of great national significance. Imagine that it was the only sector to win such a change to the legislation. Read more
With parliament apparently unable to agree how to leave the EU, a second referendum and a decision to stay in the EU becomes a serious possibility. Most environmentalists I know were strongly pro-remain in 2016. They know how important the EU has been in raising environmental standards and pushing action on climate change. Read more
The collapse of government talks with Hitachi this week takes almost 3GW of future nuclear capacity off the table. While opinion on nuclear is polarised, the UK had been relying on it to meet long term climate targets. With this week’s announcement, 9GW of proposed nuclear capacity has now been suspended. This leaves an increasing low carbon energy gap which will have to be filled by 2030 to meet legal carbon targets. Read more
This post is written by Martin Harper, global conservation director at RSPB. It was first posted on his blog.
Following the comprehensive rejection this week of the prime minister’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement by the UK parliament, and without stronger assurances which would avoid a disorderly Brexit, the risk of leaving the European Union on 29 March without a deal remains.
As politicians scrabble around to work out what happens next, I want to outline why the RSPB, and many other environmental NGOs, believe that ‘no deal’ would be such bad news for the nature. Read more
In normal times, an environmentalist’s reflections on the last year would be pretty positive. I do not want to get carried away.
The scale of the environmental challenges we face is vast and the government, as governments do, spends much of its time making things worse. But 2018 was a much better year in the UK than, say, 2015, when David Cameron aimed to “get rid of the green crap”, or 2016-17, when Theresa May’s climate change sceptic adviser, Nick Timothy (at that time sporting a Rasputin beard) was at the height of his influence. Read more
This blog was first published by Business Green.
On 6 November, the Environmental Audit Committee published the government’s response to its report into the 25 year environment plan and Defra’s consultation from earlier this year on environmental principles and governance. Read more