Tag Archives: Environment Bill

To lead the world this year on the environment, the UK must put its own house in order first

A welcome new report from the cross cutting Public Accounts Committee has set down a clear challenge for the government on why action to meet its long term environmental goals must be accelerated.

Coming only days after the announcement that the flagship Environment Bill was being carried over into the next parliamentary session, bringing a delay of some six months, the report offers a timely reminder that environmental progress cannot be assumed and requires sustained leadership and commitment.

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What does recent damage to the River Lugg tell us about the state of environmental law enforcement?

This post is by Matt Williams, trustee of the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.

In 2019, I led a small group of young people and their parents on a guided nature walk around Lugg Meadows. We heard a kingfisher, talked about how otters might be present in the river and watched a red kite circling nearby. As a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), this section of the River Lugg is protected for its importance for biodiversity.

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The government is backsliding on the Environment Bill before it even becomes law

This post is by Hatti Owens, Client Earth lawyer. It was originally published on Business Green.

After a delay of over six months, the Environment Bill is finally back. Having just completed review by a committee of MPs in Parliament, we expect its enactment during the first part of next year.

But the Bill is soon to be finalised and problems remain that must be urgently addressed.

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Is the government able to achieve its environmental goals?

This post is by Katy Losse, manager of environment studies at the National Audit Office (NAO).

It is now nine years since the government set an ambition to be the first generation to improve the natural environment in England. The NAO’s experience of auditing large scale, longer term or cross government projects and programmes makes us ideally placed to examine how well set up the government is to achieve this particular aim. In our review this year, we concluded that, although its arrangements are developing, there is still a long way to go before the government can be confident that it has the right framework to deliver on its environmental aspirations.

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Why the Environment Bill’s so called ‘triple lock’ isn’t the safety mechanism the government says it is

This post is by Philippa Goodwin, senior policy officer at the RSPB

Anyone tuning in to parliamentary debates on the Environment Bill will have heard Environment Minister Rebecca Pow refer to the ‘triple lock’ mechanism, which she says is key to driving short term environmental progress. She has already used this analogy during the bill’s second reading and twice during the bill’s committee stage on 10 March and 3 November, and we are promised that we will hear a great deal more about it as the bill progresses. So, does it stand up to scrutiny and will it deliver the legal certainty that the minister is clearly hoping for? Here are our responses to the triple lock mechanism.

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Why the Environment Bill must come back with a bang not a whimper

After a lengthy delay of more than six months, the Environment Bill will make a welcome return to parliament on 3 November. It will pick up where it left off with a committee of MPs going through the bill in detail and discussing where changes and clarifications are needed. During its absence we have faced major challenges, the resurgence of coronavirus and significant new evidence of the perilous state of nature at home and across the planet.

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Environment Bill must not undermine environmental accountability

It is good news that the Environment Bill will resume its parliamentary journey on 3 November after a delay of more than six months. The not-so-good news is that the government has proposed some amendments to the Bill (for example, see NC24 on page 50) which would weaken the already precarious independence of the new green watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

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What will the Brexit endgame mean for the environment?

The pandemic seems to have warped our sense of time. It was early spring and now, suddenly, it’s autumn. But Brexit has provided a strange bit of consistency throughout the period. After a month’s pause, the EU and UK have continued to negotiate their future relationship which is hardly surprising given the looming deadline. While the UK government could have requested an extension, it chose not to do so and the transition period will end on 31 December.

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