environment news: 13th November
Climate & COP26
The Net Zero APPG has launched its decarbonisation report, seeking to put net-zero at the heart of UK policy. The report has outlined 10 recommendations to help the UK to reach net-zero, including: develop an expansive and ambitious COVID-19 green recovery package; align the Government’s corporate finance programmes with net zero; and strengthen incentives for nature-based emissions reductions and enhanced CO2 uptake activities. You can read the full report here.
The government’s landmark Agriculture Bill has passed into UK law this week. The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers in England will be rewarded with public money for "public goods" – such as better air and water quality, thriving wildlife, and soil health – under the Environmental Land Management scheme. However farming groups such as the Nature-Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) have warned that “The government has failed to take the necessary actions to protect farmers and the public from low-standard products”. Read more about the bill here.
The Environmental Audit Committee has opened a new inquiry into the potential of tidal power to help tackle climate change. The inquiry will seek to establish how government policy can make the best and most cost-effective use of tidal power. It will consider questions such as where are the best locations for tidal technology, how tidal schemes can become economically competitive, and how financial support schemes should be structured. You can submit evidence to the inquiry here.
The National Audit Office has published a report on how the government can achieve its long-term environmental goals. It is not yet clear that the government has in place what it needs to meet long-term environmental goals, and it will need to shift momentum to reach its goal of improving England’s natural environment within a generation. The government’s Environment Plan marked a step forward in environmental policy, but headline ambitions show varying and unclear timescales. Read the full report here.
BEIS has announced £22.5m of funding to help industries tackle waste and boost recycling. Funding for five state-of-the-art research centres will explore how the reuse of waste materials in the textiles, construction, and other industries can protect the environment and boost the economy. Emissions from the UK’s textiles industry alone are almost as high as those from cars used for private trips, and £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year. Read more about the announcement here.
The Chancellor has set out plans to issue the UK's first ever Sovereign Green Bond, in measures announced this week. The bonds will finance projects that will tackle climate change, and create green jobs across the country. The UK will also become the first country in the world to make Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) aligned disclosures fully mandatory across the economy by 2025. Read more about the new measures here.
DEFRA has published the outcome of its consultation on a new law to prevent illegal deforestation. Based on this consultation feedback (of which 99% of responses supported legislation), the government will introduce a new law through the Environment Bill to prevent illegal deforestation in the supply chains of UK businesses. It will also require companies to demonstrate where commodities they use have come from, and comply with local laws. Read the full outcome of the consultation here.
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