The government will today formally table its long-awaited Environment Bill in Parliament, promising that the “landmark” legislation will reshape environmental regulation and enforcement in the UK post-Brexit. Currently most of the UK’s environmental rules are enforced by Brussels, but today’s legislation would see the creation of a new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) established to ensure the UK complies with environmental standards. The Bill will also enshrine environmental principles such as the ‘polluter pays’ principle into UK law, forcing the government to embed the environment into its decision making. In addition it will set legally binding targets for environmental improvement on areas such as air quality. The confirmation of the bill comes after government promised in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech that its new air quality target would be “among the most ambitious in the world”. Under the new regime, Councils will be given more powers to tackle sources of air pollution, while developers will be subject to mandatory biodiversity rules in the planning system that will require them to protect existing habitats or pay for land restoration elsewhere.
Business Green 15th Oct 2019 read more »