New Environment Act passed into law

According to Defra, the UK’s new environmental legislation leads the way on a global level, aiming to improve air and water quality, tackle waste, increase recycling, halt the decline of species, and improve our natural environment.

Specifically, the Environment Act will deliver:

  • Long-term targets to improve air quality, biodiversity, water, and waste reduction and resource efficiency
  • A target on ambient PM2.5 concentrations, the most harmful pollutant to human health
  • A target to halt the decline of nature by 2030
  • Environmental Improvement Plans, including interim targets
  • A cycle of environmental monitoring and reporting
  • Environmental Principles embedded in domestic policy making
  • Office for Environmental Protection to uphold environmental law

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“The Environment Act will deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth.

It will halt the decline of species by 2030, clean up our air and protect the health of our rivers, reform the way in which we deal with waste and tackle deforestation overseas.

We are setting an example for the rest of the world to follow.”

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said:

“As the government’s leading forestry experts, the Forestry Commission supports the new measures included in the Environment Act which gives our woodlands much needed protection, so we can ensure they live on and continue to bring benefits to people, nature and climate.

We are excited about new measures that will improve Forestry Commission’s enforcement powers to help us further protect England’s woodlands from illegal felling, including our most precious ancient woodlands.

Increasing tree planting now is an important step towards creating a more wooded country, and we look forward to working closely with the government as they consider a long-term tree target, which could be introduced through the new powers in the Environment Act.”


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