Environment Bill update
- Politics & Economics ,
The Environment Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons on 26 February and is now at Committee stage, where a cross-party group of MPs, plus the environment minister, go through the Bill line by line and consider amendments, which will be considered by parliament.
To aid this process, a small number of evidence sessions are being held to inform the Committee's scrutiny. As part of the work IEMA – home to the Broadway Initiative – is doing on the Bill, I gave evidence before the Committee in its opening session on 10 March.
Our position is that the Bill includes many governance elements that are needed as the UK leaves the EU, and we are broadly supportive of the measures put forward. However, the Bill could be improved in two ways: first, by enhancing coherence between different governance elements so they are mutually supportive and aligned; second, to complete the governance framework to link national targets and Environmental Improvement
Plans with local delivery mechanisms. Providing a top-to-bottom environmental governance framework would create the conditions to mobilise business investment in long-term environmental improvements.
At this point, scope for major change is limited; our best chance of securing improvements to the Bill is through targeted amendments that will genuinely improve long-term outcomes. We've been supporting MPs to table amendments that are consistent with our position, and will continue to advocate for improvements as the Bill enters the Lords later in the year.
We will keep members up to date on the Bill's latest developments and potential implications through webinars and briefings as appropriate.
We’re delighted to announce that this year marks our inaugural IEMA sustainability and environmental professionals’ conference, Connect 2021, which will be free and exclusive to IEMA members.
Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.
The government has announced a delay to the Environment Bill’s passage through Parliament, due to COVID-19 restrictions and a bottleneck of legislation making its way onto the statute book. It is expected that the Bill will receive significant interest in the Lords, and the pause means it will carry over into the next parliamentary session, rather than being rushed through without proper scrutiny, or risking being dropped.