The Aldersgate Group is working as a key stakeholder on the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)'s "Smarter Environmental Regulation Review". This review seeks to build on the findings of the Red Tape Challenge, reforming legislation over the long term.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group and a member of Defra's Critical Friends working group, said the priority is "to reduce the burden of environmental regulation whilst securing better environmental outcomes."
Defra has submitted suggestions for changes to guidance and reporting requirements to ministers and an announcement is pending.
To open the Friends of the Earth's Conference on "Seeing Things Differently", Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, argued that a priority for change must be the development of economic and accountancy frameworks which reflect full environmental costs and benefits.
He said that "currently, much of the world's land, forests, waters, air and ecosystems are being liquidated for short-term growth imperatives that will lead to massive costs later on. They appear on the balance sheet as zero and are often not accounted for in decision making."
Andrew was joined on the panel by authors Polly Higgins (Eradicating Ecocide) and James Marriott (Platform).