Government To Bring Forward First Environment Bill In 20 Years

The Government is planning to bring forward the first Environment Bill in 20 years, the Prime Minister Teresa May has revealed.

The PM made the announcement as she gave evidence to the Liaison Committee yesterday (18 July) regarding air quality, Brexit, defence spending and the restoration of the Palace of Westminster.

In a Twitter statement following the session, the PM said: “Today I announced that the Government will bring forward the first Environment Bill in over 20 years. This builds on our 25 Year Environment Plan, setting out what we are doing to improve the environment for the next generation.”

During the session, she said government wanted to incorporate action on air quality into a wider Environment Bill that will look at a range of issues. She said the Bill would set out to address “some of the opportunities we think will be available to us when we leave the EU in terms of this area of protection of the environment”.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove – “This bill is another key step towards achieving a Green Brexit and it will help to ensure Britain can be cleaner and greener for future generations.”

The PM also suggested environmental issues need to be addressed across multiple departments and that departments other than Defra benefit from environmental action.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove backed the plan for a new Bill. He said: “Today’s announcement that this government will bring forward the first Environment Bill in over 20 years builds on the vision we set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan to leave our precious environment in a better state than we found it.

“This bill is another key step towards achieving a Green Brexit and it will help to ensure Britain can be cleaner and greener for future generations.”

CIWM’s CEO Dr Colin Church commented: “The Environment Bill must ensure that the government has the mandate and the powers to implement the key pieces of environmental policy that are coming through, including the Defra 25-year Environment Plan and the Resources & Waste Strategy, and can be held accountable for their delivery.

“It also offers the opportunity for a more holistic vision for the environment. One that recognises and capitalises on the interdependencies that exist between different areas of environmental protection and enhancement, including the role of waste and resource recovery in reducing consumption of virgin materials, mitigating climate change, decarbonising energy, and enhancing soil health.

“It should also position the environment as a key pillar of future economic growth and wellbeing, ensuring that it becomes a material consideration right across government from future industrial, trade, energy and agricultural policies through to health and social justice.

To watch the evidence session in full, click here.


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