Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to email me in relation to the Environment Bill. I understand the concerns you have with regard to the Bill and the protection of nature and our environment.
The Bill will ensure the environment is at the heart of all policy making and that this and future governments are held to account if they fail to uphold their environmental duties. These will include meeting net-zero by 2050, as well as wider long-term legally binding targets on biodiversity, air quality, water, and resource and waste efficiency which will be established under the Bill.
The Office for Environmental Protection, will be a new and independent regulator, established in statute to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action when necessary. This will ensure we succeed in leaving the environment in a better condition than we found it.
The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan will be placed on a statutory footing, and a set of environmental principles will be introduced that will be used to guide future government policy making.
The Government has also committed to developing a Nature Recovery Network and, with the aim of restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside the protected site series. A new framework for Local Nature Recovery Strategies will be legislated for in the Environment Bill, to help support the Nature Recovery Network and better direct investment in the environment and green infrastructure – creating places that are richer in wildlife and provide wider benefits for local communities.
The Bill will also require the preparation and publication of Local Nature Recovery Strategies, mapping nature-rich habitats, so that investment can be targeted where it will make the most difference. These local plans will embrace local knowledge to strengthen links between neighbouring communities and support the wider Network.
Due to current circumstances the sittings of the committee are on hold until further notice.
However, rest assured, the Government value the importance of the environment, and are aiming to reflect this in their legislation.