Conservatives To “Take Control” Of Environmental Legislation

The Conservative Party says it will “take control” of environmental legislation again as the UK leaves the EU, as part of its election manifesto released today (18 May).

The Conservative Party pledged to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. To this end, it said it would produce a 25-Year Environment Plan that will “chart how we will improve our environment as we leave the European union and take control of our environmental legislation again”.

The party’s 25-Year Environment Plan was due to be published earlier this year but was inevitably delayed following Teresa May’s announcement of a snap general election on 8 June.

In April, BBC News claimed to have seen a leaked version of the Plan, and noted there were many references to the policy opportunities offered by Brexit, “which will allow the UK to make its own rules on waste and resources.”

“We will do more to reduce litter, including by supporting comprehensive rubbish collection and recycling, supporting better packaging, taking new powers to force councils to remove roadside litter and prosecuting offenders.”

The manifesto pledges to do more to reduce litter, specifically “supporting better packaging” and “taking new powers to force councils to remove roadside litter”.

It states: “We will do more to reduce litter, including by supporting comprehensive rubbish collection and recycling, supporting better packaging, taking new powers to force councils to remove roadside litter and prosecuting offenders.”

The manifesto also said that under a Conservative government, the UK would “lead the world in environmental protection”. It said the UK would continue to take the lead in global action against climate change and would champion greater conservation co-operation with international bodies.

The party also said it would continue to use the UK’s aid budget in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically around extreme poverty, and that it wants to see a diverse range of sources for the UK’s energy production.

The manifesto also said it was an ambition of the party for the UK to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use and that it would invest in more low-emission busses.

Election Manifesto Breakdown

The Green Party:

The Green Party’s environment manifesto pledged to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) to end what it calls “unnecessary single-use plastics”.

It also states that, as well as implementing a DRS, the Party would:

  • promote the culture of reusing and refilling, through: free public water dispensers and a community refill scheme
  • end unnecessary single-use plastics
  • introduce an Environmental Protection Act
  • create a new environmental regulator and court to “effectively monitor and enforce environmental law”.
  • create a new Green Investment and Innovation Centre with borrowing powers to help create and finance the transition to a zero-carbon economy. This would replace the UK Green Investment Bank, which it calls “a victim of reckless Conservative ideology” – and create a government-owned hub for innovation and investment in a low-carbon economy.

The Liberal Democrat Party:

In the Liberal Democrat manifesto, the party says that Britain’s economy fails to make the most efficient use of natural resources and that it aims to cut waste, increase recovery, reuse and recycling and move towards a circular economy.

Its pledges include:

  • pass a Zero Waste Act, including legally-binding targets for reducing net consumption of key natural resources, and introducing incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency.
  • benefit consumers by promoting better product design to improve repairability, reuse and recycling.
  • establish a statutory waste recycling target of 70% in England and extend separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2022.
  • building on the success of our plastic bag charge, introduce a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups to reduce waste.
  • establish a coherent tax and regulatory framework for landfill, incineration and waste collection, including reinstating the Landfill Tax escalator and extending it to the lower rate and consulting on the introduction of an Incineration Tax.
  • work with local government to ensure these commitments are fully-funded.

The Labour Party:

Labour’s manifesto states: “Throughout the Brexit process, we will make sure that all EU-derived laws that are of benefit – including workplace laws, consumer rights and environmental protections – are fully protected without Qualifications, limitations or sunset clauses.”

The manifesto also commits to setting “guiding targets” for a plastic bottle deposit scheme.

The Conservative Party:

The Conservative Party pledged to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. It said it would:

  • publish a 25-Year Environment Plan
  • take control of our environmental legislation again
  • lead the world in environmental protection
  • do more to reduce litter, including by supporting comprehensive rubbish collection and recycling, supporting better packaging
  • take new powers to force councils to remove roadside litter and prosecute offenders
  • use aid budget for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • wants to see a diverse range of sources for the UK’s energy production
  • lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use and that it would invest in more low-emission busses.

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  1. This is why we voted for Brexit. It’s sensible and practical, unlike the lunacy of the Green Party touting a DRS scheme that’s been proved to be unworkable in the UK

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