Why we’re working to improve the Environment Bill

The CEE Bill Alliance is helping a cross-party effort to improve the Environment Bill as it passes through Committee stage in the Commons

Though we continue to grow support for the CEE Bill, we’re concerned that the Environment Bill—which is currently passing through its Committee stage in the House of Commons—fails to acknowledge that addressing ecological degradation and biodiversity loss is an integral part of addressing the climate emergency.

We’re working with MPs from across the parties in an effort led by Labour’s Frontbench Team to improve the Environment Bill with two new clauses—new clause 28 and new clause 29—which were tabled by Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP and will be debated on 26 November.

You can watch the Environment Bill committee debate these amendments at 11:30, 28 November on Parliament TV, here.

These new clauses, if incorporated into the Environment Bill, will:

  • Put the aim of having a healthy, resilient and biodiverse natural environment, one that supports our health and wellbeing and a sustainable use of resources, at the heart of the Bill’s objectives
  • Bring the Bill into line with the UK’s other environment laws, policies and commitments, including the UN Leader’s Pledge for Nature that the Prime Minister committed to in September and the outcomes of the UN climate and biodiversity conferences in 2021
  • Require the Government to report on what the UK’s current environmental laws and policies do and don’t do, so that know which other laws – including the CEE Bill – are needed to tackle the climate emergency

Though we continue to call on MPs to support and help enact the CEE Bill—which offers the most viable way to tackle the climate and nature emergency—we support these efforts to strengthen the Environment Bill, and encourage all MPs to add their names to NC28 and NC29.

The nature of the crisis we face demands a bold, far-reaching and radical climate and ecological emergency strategy; the type of strategy proposed by the CEE Bill. Though we welcome these amendments, we also remind all MPs that they must go much further, and must faster, to prevent the irreversible damage to our communities posed by global heating rising above 1.5 ºC and the destruction of the natural world.

Here’s a link to our briefing on these amendments.

NC28 – Environmental objective and commitments

NC28 seeks to ensure that anyone exercising responsibilities in relation to the Environment Bill—from the Secretary of State, the Office of Environmental Protection or the courts—must comply with broader commitments, including the Climate Change Act 2008, the recent UN Leaders’ Pledge for Nature signed by the Prime Minister and any commitments arising from the vital UN COP15 and COP26 summits next year.

NC29 – Report on climate and ecology

NC29 ties together the interlinked challenges of climate change and the ecological and biodiversity crisis by requiring the Secretary of State (within six months of the Environment Bill becoming law) to report on the adequacy of current environmental law and policy in meeting the climate and ecological challenges that the UK, and the world, is facing. Having made their report, it is then incumbent on the Secretary of State to make the environmental targets and improvement plans appropriately ambitious.

Here’s the list of MPs supporting these amendments.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Alan Whitehead, Ruth Jones, Daniel Zeichner, Gill Furniss, Fleur Anderson, Grahame Morris, Claire Hanna, Jonathan Edwards, Kim Johnson, Kerry McCarthy, Mick Whitley, Clive Lewis, Olivia Blake, Layla Moran, Stephen Farry, Beth Winter, Wera Hobhouse, Mohammad Yasin, Jeremy Corbyn, Nadia Whittome, Kate Osborne, Ian Byrne, Apsana Begum, Tommy Sheppard, Rebecca Long Bailey, Claudia Webbe, Ed Davey, Wendy Chamberlain, Christine Jardine, Tim Farron, Daisy Cooper, Munira Wilson, Jamie Stone, Alistair Carmichael, Richard Burgon, Sarah Olney, Debbie Abrahams

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