Our reaction to EFRA and EAC reports on the draft Environment Bill

Today, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee released their report after their scrutiny of the draft Environment Bill. It follows the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on the draft Bill. Our Head of Government Affairs, Georgina Holmes-Skelton, gives her reaction below;

“The EFRA and EAC reports show the growing consensus that the draft Environment Bill needs changes if it is to be truly ambitious and effective. Business as usual is not enough. The Government should respond quickly to both reports to reaffirm its commitment to delivering a post-Brexit environmental protection system that restores the natural environment.”

“The National Trust is playing our part by creating and restoring 25,000 hectares of habitat by 2025, and by working with partners in other conservation charities. But we’re much more likely to achieve the level of environmental ambition we think is needed if the wider system of protection is robust.”

“Both committees rightly see the Bill as critical to protecting and restoring the environment after the UK leaves the EU. We particularly welcome the EFRA Committee’s recommendation that the definition of the environment in the Bill is too narrow and could exclude the historic environment. As they recommend, it should be redrafted to provide for a more holistic definition of the environment, with explicit reference made to the historic environment. We are also pleased to see the Committee call for an overarching objective for environment governance and for greater independence and stronger powers for a new environmental watchdog.”

See the full report from the EAC here.

See the full report from the EFRA here

 

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