This post is by Jonathan Baker, deputy director for programme policy, engagement and strategy in Defra’s future farming and countryside programme.
It’s the look of excitement that gets you. Working with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), I and other Defra officials are talking to civil servants around the world about how, in the run up to COP26, our reforms to agricultural policy in England represent a model for other nations to address the nature and climate crises.
Green Alliance is tracking the UK’s net zero policy progress in key areas of government throughout this year. This week we are featuring a series of daily blogs in which we hear from the chairs of five parliamentary select committees, who answer our questions about the progress being made in their committee’s area of interest. This post is by Neil Parish MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
The government has launched a recruitment campaign for the inaugural chair of the new independent environment watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP). This is without a doubt one of the most exciting jobs around in both the environmental and regulatory worlds and a significant milestone in the journey towards a new domestic environmental governance system. Read more
This post is by Kate Jennings, head of site conservation policy at RSPB
When it comes to how we protect nature one thing is absolutely clear: we need to do more. As the State of nature report says, the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries on earth, and the steps taken to protect the best and to restore the rest have simply failed to address the problem at anything like the scale needed. Read more
On Monday 20 July, Green Alliance hosted online the first major speech on the environment by the Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Defra secretary of state. You can read the full speech, watch the event on our YouTube channel or listen to the highlights on our podcast.
Here are reactions to what he said, on funding, the Environment Bill, trade and the UK’s global role, from leading environmental campaigners: Read more
The Brexit process has had a major impact on the way government is organised, and it has transformed one department, Defra. While much of this change has been beneficial, the pace of it has brought a number of challenges which should be addressed. Read more
This blog was first posted on Business Green.
Amidst a flurry of ‘end of term’ announcements, and on what could be his last day in office, Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday set out the government’s ambitions for the full Environment Bill. Read more
We will have a new prime minister on Wednesday, almost certainly Boris Johnson, and new ministers by the end of the week. What should the environmental sector hope for? Read more
This post is by Tom Lancaster, acting head of land use policy at the RSPB.
The world of flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) is complex, and at times niche. But it is something that affects the lives of millions, and will become an increasingly pressing priority as the impacts of climate change get worse.
We all have a stake in the decisions to protect communities, businesses and nature from floods, whilst making the best use of the nation’s resources. They should be debated openly, both locally and nationally. Above all, managing flood risk should take place within a long term strategic framework, rigorously assessed to ensure maximum bang for our FCERM buck. Read more
This post is by Libby Peake, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, and Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary associate for Greener UK.
Now the EU has granted a Brexit ‘flextension’ until the end of October, the immediate threat of no deal has subsided. In fact, the government has stood down the ‘army’ of 6,000 civil servants preparing for that contingency. But this wasn’t the only preparation being undertaken: many of the 10,000 other civil servants working on Brexit had been creating the torrent of regulations required to bring European laws into the UK legal framework. This process, comprising 10,091 pages of technical legislation (a quarter of which came from Defra), is now largely complete. So, given the breathing space, it’s timely to take stock of where this process has got to. Read more