Briefing for Second Reading of the Environment Bill 2019

The Environment Bill is a crucial opportunity to create a governance framework that is as robust, long-term and world-leading as the Climate Change Act

Our engagement with business during the development of the Bill shows that there is strong support for a framework that robustly enforces environmental law after the UK leaves the European Union. Businesses have also publicly backed the introduction of a framework that includes a comprehensive range of legally binding environmental improvement targets to support investment in the natural environment over the long term.3 The inclusion of a process to set such targets in the Environment Bill is hugely welcome. Business and civil society look forward to continuing to work with government to develop these targets and ensure they drive immediate action.

Work is still needed to strengthen the Bill – with areas such as the applicability of environmental principles and the Office for Environmental Protection’s (OEP) independence remaining a cause for concern. We hope that Members of Parliament will be able to raise the following points during the Environment Bill’s Second Reading debate and allow the government to provide further clarification.