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15.10.19

Pioneering new measures announced in government Environment Bill

Government is making the environment a priority with the introduction of landmark bill to fight the biggest threats to the environment.

The bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday and will today (15 Oct) be introduced to parliament. The fundamentals of which are to protect and enhance our natural environment.

The Environment Bill will serve as a protection as we leave the EU. Allowing the UK to continue its mission to ensure a clean and prosperous future for generations to come.

Basic environmental principles regarding air and water quality, plastic pollution and the defending of wildlife habitats will be enshrined in law and supported by a number of new measures.

New targets will be set out to improve the quality of the environment, backed by legislation making them legally-binding.

A new Office for Environmental Protection will be formed, to uphold our environmental standards and cover climate change legislation. This includes the commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, through the use of nature-based solutions and real dedication to tackling climate change.

The government aims to continue previous successes in this area, such as the 5p plastic bag charge, which saw sales drop by 90% since 2015. Charges for other single use plastic items will be introduced and natural habitats will be protected from plastic items wherever possible.

The environment is set to be ‘at the heart’ of all government policy making, and accountability on present and future governments regarding climate change targets.

Health is a key issue when discussing the environment and this new Bill will aid the improvement of air quality so children and young people can live longer, healthier lives.

Newly built houses will be compliant to protect and enhance nature through ‘biodiversity net gain’ and local communities will be given a greater say in the protection of local trees.

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.”

“That’s why our landmark Environment Bill leads a green transformation that will help our country to thrive. It positions the UK as a world leader on improving air quality, environmental biodiversity, a more circular economy, and managing our precious water resources in a changing climate.”

“Crucially, it also ensures that after Brexit, environmental ambition and accountability are placed more clearly than ever before at the heart of government, both now and in the future.”

The Bill builds on the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan keeping the UK at the forefront of these issues internationally.

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