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
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 post is by Andrew Sells, the outgoing chair of Natural England.
Natural England is an organisation that some thought – at various stages – was as endangered as some of the species we strive to protect. But as it prepares for life after the UK’s departure from the European Union, it has never been more important.
With my time at the helm now drawing to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on five years as chair of Natural England and the future for conservation. Read more
This post is by Matt Williams, public policy officer at the National Trust. A version of this piece will be posted on the Wildlife and Countryside Link blog. Read more
Yesterday, the government published draft clauses which will form the backbone of the first environment bill for twenty years. This is, without doubt, a historic moment and a chance for the government to deliver its commitment to leave the environment in a better state for future generations. Read more
This post is by Michael Jacobs, director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice and former Downing St adviser (2007-10) on environment and climate change.
Crunch time is coming. Over the next few months the government is likely to publish a draft Environment Bill to replace the core principles and institutions of EU environmental policy making which will be lost after Brexit. Though such a bill is unlikely to be passed into law until 2020, most observers expect its core content to be agreed in draft form before next year’s 29 March departure day. Read more
This week, we interviewed the naturalist, nature photographer and author, Chris Packham, about his Walk for Wildlife which will take place in London on Saturday 22 September.
Q. The Walk for Wildlife is a great initiative but why are you doing it now? Why this moment?
I, and many others, have reached a critical point of frustration. We know from the State of Nature report that many habitats and species are in decline. I’m armed with an enormous repository of statistics which I felt I had normalised, and they were just going up. Every time a new survey is done the figures get worse. I sensed that it wasn’t just me feeling this way. There is a general groundswell of people thinking “we have to do something now”. Read more
Something quite momentous happened on 18 July. The prime minister announced the first dedicated environment bill for over twenty years. Have no doubt that this is as major a policy announcement as they come, although it might easily have been missed as it was tucked away in an answer to a question on air quality when Theresa May was grilled by select committee chairs on their subject areas. Luckily this tweet sealed the deal and the announcement is now common knowledge and an important platform from which to build.