‘Green transformation’ outlined in Environment Bill
The government will today lay out its plans to cut air pollution and provide a new regulator to enforce long-term targets when it presents its new Environment Bill.
It will enshrine environmental principles in law and set out a framework for improvements to air and water quality, as well as measure to cut plastic pollution.
And there will be details of a new watchdog – the Office of Environmental Protection, which will be based in Bristol. It will have the power to scrutinise laws, investigate complaints and take enforcement action against public authorities to uphold standards.
The regulator's powers will cover climate change legislation and hold the Government to account on the legal commitment to cut greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, working alongside the existing advisory Committee on Climate Change.
The main aims of the bill are:
- Improve air quality – including legally-binding targets to reduce fine particulate matter, PM2.5, and forcing manufacturers to recall vehicles when they do not meet the relevant environmental standards.
- Restore and enhance nature – a 'biodiversity net gain' scheme to ensure new houses developments protect and enhance nature. A Nature Recovery Network will establish Local Nature Recovery Strategies and giving communities a greater say in the protection of local trees.
- Transform waste management – ensuring 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 water resources – by increasing sustainable water management through securing long-term, resilient water and wastewater services in the face of a changing climate.
While the Bill applies only to England, more than half of its measures – such as those designed to drive up recycling rates – are designed to apply across the UK.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "Our natural environment is a vital shared resource and the need to act to secure it for generations to come is clear."
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She said the Bill would lead a "green transformation that will help our country to thrive", and would position the UK as a world leader on improving air quality, nature and Read More – Source