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The latest legislation, guidance and consultation.



29 January 2021


The UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 gives powers to Scottish ministers to keep devolved law in Scotland aligned with European law in relation to environmental protection following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.


Energy labelling

1 March 2021

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

A brand-new version of the EU energy label will be available in all shops and online retailers from 1 March 2021. They will initially apply to fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and television sets (and monitors), with light bulbs and lamps with fixed light sources following on 1 September.


Water pollution

1 April 2021


The Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021 introduce measures to address agricultural pollution. They focus on those farms where the environmental risk from poor manure management is greatest and are based on current good practice recommendations.


Landfill tax

1 April 2021

Wales and Scotland

New landfill tax rates for Wales and Scotland have been set for disposals after 1 April 2021. The standard rate is £96.70 and the lower rate is £3.10 per tonne. In Wales, the unauthorised disposals rate is £145.05 per tonne.


Air pollution

31 May 2021


The Low Emission Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2021 set out the creation and operation of a low emission zone (LEZ) scheme. They make provision for consultation before making, amending or revoking a LEZ; examination of LEZ proposals; approval of devices used in a LEZ; and keeping of accounts.




22 January 2021

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Guidance on the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which helps operators find out if they qualify for the scheme and how to comply, has been updated. A definition of a large undertaking for the third ESOS compliance period has been added.



27 January 2021

England, Wales and Scotland

A new Waste Management Plan has been published for England. Defra is required to produce a new plan every six years, and although it does not introduce any new policies or plans for England, its aim is to bring all current waste management policies together under one national plan.




30 January 2021


The government is proposing a number of changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, mostly relating to the policy on the quality of design of new developments. The proposals also include a number of environmental changes, including amendments related to flood-risk and climate change.