The UK government’s Environment Bill is not fit for purpose, according to Britain’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
Chair of the EAC, and UK minister of parliament, Mary Creagh has written to fellow MP, Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Theresa Villiers, requesting that a number of aspects of the bill be reconsidered.
The letter addresses a number of issues, not least amongst them being the questionable independence of the new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), and suggests that it would remain “fragile” should it remain subject to the discretion of Ministers.
The ‘needlessly long timeframe’ required to set targets is also questioned, noting that the 2037 deadline for target-setting will offer “too little too late”. The letter further suggests that targets be set across a wider range of areas than just resource efficiency, air quality, water, biodiversity, and waste reduction.
The EAC Chair has also called for the urgent publication of a policy statement aligned to the Bill’s environmental principles and said: “The Environment Bill offers the government a chance to safeguard our environment for future generations but there remain glaring oversights in the Bill.
“The government has failed to set out its policy framework which would establish how the environmental principles will be used in practice – allowing them to avoid full scrutiny from Parliament.”
Creagh echoed these sentiments on Twitter:
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