Government introduces ground-breaking Environment Bill
The government will introduce a landmark Bill to Parliament to tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time, signalling a historic step change in the way we protect and enhance our precious natural environment.
The transformative Environment Bill will help ensure that we maintain and improve our environmental protections as we leave the EU. It will build on the UK’s strong track record and sets out a comprehensive and world-leading vision to allow future generations to prosper. Environmental principles will be enshrined in law and measures will be introduced to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive.
Legislation will also create, legally-binding environmental improvement targets. A new independent Office for Environmental Protection will be established to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action against public authorities, if necessary, to uphold our environmental standards. The office’s powers will cover all climate change legislation and hold the government to account on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. By also championing nature-based solutions, the Bill demonstrates our commitment to tackle climate change.
The Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech and introduced today, will:
- - ensure the environment is at the heart of all government policy making and that this government – and future governments – are held to account
- - improve air quality - by fighting pollution so children and young people can live longer healthier lives.
- - restore and enhance nature - through ‘biodiversity net gain’ ensure that the new houses we build are delivered in a way which protects and enhances nature, helping to deliver thriving natural spaces for local communities.
- - transform the way we manage our waste - through powers to ensure that producers take responsibility for the waste they create, introducing a consistent approach to recycling, tackling waste crime, introducing bottle deposit return schemes and more effective litter enforcement.
- - protect precious water resources - by increasing sustainable water management through securing long-term, resilient water and wastewater services in the face of a changing climate.