The Environment Bill has been re-introduced to Parliament following the General Election. The Bill sets out environmental principles in law and introduces measures to improve air and water quality, tackle pollution and better manage waste.

The legislation includes a commitment to a bi-annual review of the significant developments in international legislation on the environment to ensure the UK keeps abreast of developments in driving forward environmental protection legislation.

A new independent Office for Environmental Protection will be created to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action against public authorities, if necessary, to uphold environmental standards. The Office’s powers will cover all climate change legislation and hold the Government to account on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Re-introducing the Bill, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “We have set out our pitch to be a world leader on the environment as we leave the EU and the Environment Bill is a crucial part of achieving this aim. It sets a gold standard for improving air quality, protecting nature, increasing recycling and cutting down on plastic waste.”

IEMA has welcomed the Government’s reintroduction of the Bill to Parliament, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor Martin Baxter said: “The Environment Bill has the potential to enable all parts of society and the economy to make significant contributions to improving the natural environment and tacking the climate crisis. Parliament must take the opportunity to turn a good Bill into one that’s world-leading and we will work with MPs and peers to help Government achieve its global leadership ambition and unlock significant private sector investment.”

Last reviewed 13 February 2020