Government has today published an ambitious Environment Bill which sets out a landmark legislative framework to tackle the environment and climate emergency.
At the centre of the Bill is an environmental governance framework which sets a process for setting legally-binding targets to tackle air pollution, waste, biodiversity loss and water resources protection; puts Defra’s 25yr Environment Plan on a statutory footing; sets out core environmental principles for policy-making; and creates a new Office for Environmental Protection to monitor progress and ensure public authorities comply with climate and environmental laws.
Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor welcomed the proposals:
“The Bill aims to re-set the relationship between the environment, society and the economy and we are pleased that Government has responded positively to the elements that IEMA and other Broadway Initiative partners have advocated.”
“IEMA supports the proposals to set legally binding targets to address air pollution, plastic waste, biodiversity loss and water resources as this will provide much needed certainty to allow businesses and all parts of society to plan, invest and collaborate to substantially improve the environment for the long term.”
“The Bill establishes a good baseline for putting sustainability at the heart of our economic model. We will work with Government and Parliamentarians to make the necessary improvements needed to turn the Bill into a world-leading legislative framework as it passes through the House of Commons and Lords.”
IEMA has worked with leading bodies from business, environment and professional institutions as part of the Broadway Initiative to encourage Government to come forward with an ambitious Environment Bill to enable all parts of society to play their part in achieving long term objectives for the environment. As the Bill passes through Parliament, we will seek to strengthen the elements needed to give businesses the certainty needed to invest, including overarching objectives which frame the target setting process and the criteria by which targets will be set; and the role of the Office for Environmental Protection and the extent of its independence from Government.
IEMA is also pleased that the Bill takes forward key policy proposals advocated by members, including: putting Biodiversity Net Gain for new development on a statutory footing, based on principles and guidance we published with CIEEM and CIRIA; and Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging as an important measure to tackle single use plastic, with the potential to extend this further.
Posted on 15th October 2019
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