The government has proposed an Environment Bill, containing legally binding improvement targets.
Announced as part of the Queen’s Speech on 14 October, the bill aims to protect and improve the environment for future generations. It would see environmental principles enshrined in law, include measures to improve air and water quality, and would lead to the creation of a new independent regulator. This would be set up to scrutinise environmental policy and law, complaints and take enforcement action.
While welcoming elements of the bill such as the legally binding targets and an independent regulator, the IPPR’s Head of Environmental Justice Commission, Luke Murphy, said there were still a lot of questions to be answered.
Murphy also suggested the bill did not live up to the Sustainable Economy Act, previously argued for by the IPPR, and warned Brexit is set to weaken environmental standards anyway. This would severely hinder the government’s bid to leave the environment in a “better place”.