The new Environment Act is an important post-Brexit bill that fills the gap left in our legislation now that we are outside the EU. It does not tackle the core problems at the heart of the climate and ecological crisis and exists to tidy up lots of loose ends - looking at some select issues rather than a connected whole.
It falls short in several important ways:
- It has nothing whatsoever to do with climate change. The CEE Bill would ensure climate and nature are addressed together. How can they not be? They are inextricably connected.
- It aims only to halt the decline in nature - whereas the CEE Bill makes a legally-binding commitment to restore nature, demonstrating a reversal and improvement by 2030 - 'nature positive'.
- It completely ignores the UK's impact on nature around the world along our international supply chains and waste routes. The CEE Bill would ensure we take responsibility for our impact on nature wherever it happens.
- The Government voted down a Lords amendment to make the new environmental watchdog (the OEP) strong and independent.
- The Government voted down a Lords amendment to require water companies to work to stop dumping raw sewage into rivers - replacing it with very weak wording which allows companies to do almost nothing to solve the problem. Read more at The Rivers Trust.