Policy update - Biodiversity offsetting
- Construction ,
- Agriculture ,
- Business & Industry ,
- Ecosystems ,
Nick Blyth, IEMA policy and practice lead, looks at recent development on biodiversity offsetting
After a recent summit hosted by environment secretary Owen Paterson, Defra is producing a green paper on biodiversity offsetting with the intention of running a consultation later in the summer.
At the event, commentators offered a number of perspectives. Dieter Helm, chair of the government’s natural capital committee, for example, shared his belief that offsetting has the potential to help meet the goal set in the natural environment white paper of the current generation being the first to improve the environment.
Meanwhile, John Slaughter, director of external affairs at the Home Builders’ Federation, focused on the need for transparency in any offsetting system, while another participant, Kerry ten Kate, a director at Trends and head of the firm’s business and biodiversity offsets programme, made the case for a mandatory system.
In highlighting the need to develop a clear set of conservation priorities to inform when developments on one type of habitat could be offset by improvements to another, she stressed the importance of preparing a system properly, launching it decisively and allowing enough time for it to become properly established.
Having the right skills and enough capacity were vital issues, she said. Ten Kate also set out a three-tier system for biodiversity offsetting, with simple and swift offset transactions for the lowest biodiversity impacts; a more rigorous approach for more serious impacts and, potentially, an independent review for the most significant impacts.
In earlier consultations on offsetting, IEMA raised a number of concerns with Defra and the ecosystems market taskforce.
These centred on the importance of the mitigation hierarchy and on ensuring “additionality” and offsets in perpetuity.
Members can find out more via the IEMA policy hub at iema.net/biodiversity-ecosystems.
Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.