In England it requires the setting of long-term targets in the areas of air quality, biodiversity, water, and resource efficiency and waste reduction. The Bill also sets out the need for a new environmental watchdog to be created (the Office for Environmental Protection) and the development of a policy statement to be used by Ministers across government to embed environmental considerations in all policymaking.
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The Environment Bill returned to Parliament following the Queen’s speech and is making progress through the House of Lords.
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.
New legally binding targets for environmental improvement will be introduced in an Environment Bill over the next session of parliament, the Queen's Speech confirmed today.
IEMA's chief policy advisor Martin Baxter met with the Chancellor Phillip Hammond and Environment Secretary Michael Gove at 11 Downing Street to discuss the forthcoming Environment Bill.