Environment Bill offers opportunity to put sustainability at the heart of the economy

Parliament needs to turn a good Bill into one that’s world-leading

Posted on Jan 30, 2020

IEMA welcomes the Government’s reintroduction of the Environment Bill into Parliament today. The Bill offers an opportunity to put sustainability at the heart of the UK’s economic model and catalyse the process of restoring our natural environment and tackling the climate crisis.

Commenting on the Environment Bill’s reintroduction to Parliament, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor Martin Baxter said:

“The Environment Bill has the potential to enable all parts of society and the economy to make significant contributions to improving the natural environment and tacking the climate crisis. Parliament must take the opportunity to turn a good Bill into one that’s world-leading and we will work with MPs and peers to help Government achieve its global leadership ambition and unlock significant private sector investment.”

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.The Bill also includes a commitment to review the biggest developments in international environmental law every 2 years to consider whether to factor into the UK’s environmental improvement plans.

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 advocate for five key changes that would mobilise business investment in environmental improvements:

  • Objectives to bind the Bill’s policy and governance processes into a commonly understood direction
  • Transparent criteria and processes for setting targets and interim targets
  • Requirements that mechanisms are in place to enable targets to be met
  • Provision to enable consistent local environmental planning and prioritisation towards the long-term targets
  • Provision of a simplified business planning mechanism for organisations to factor the environment into their activities

About the Broadway Initiative

IEMA has been working as part of The Broadway Initiative to bring together a cross section of the main stakeholders and nationally recognised experts to generate ideas and proposals for world leading arrangements to govern the environment after EU exit. The purpose is to advise governments on how to enable all parts of society to play their part in achieving long term objectives for the environment.

Broadway Initiative members come from the worlds of business, NGOs, professional bodies, governance, policy making and academia.

www.iema.net/broadway


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