ACT NOW: Support a strong Environment Bill
We’re in the midst of huge political change as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
Since most of the rules protecting our natural environment come from the EU, it’s crucial not only to defend these protections, but to ensure the UK Government leads the world in setting standards to secure the future for our woods, wildlife and wild places.
This Government has made a commitment "to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it." If this is to be translated into action, we must take the opportunity to improve the environmental protections in place, and shape a new land use policy for the UK which takes much better advantage of the huge range of benefits woods and trees can offer.
Working towards a Greener UK
Along with 12 other major conservation and political voices from across the UK, we have formed the Greener UK coalition. Collectively we bring 7.9 million members and supporters together – a huge voice for nature that can help to influence how it will take shape in the years to come.
We hope the UK government will go further than simply safeguarding protections, and will take advantage of the opportunity to restore nature and our natural resources within a generation, as set out in the Greener UK vision statement.
The draft Environment Bill was produced shortly before the 2018 Christmas recess. We largely welcomed the draft Environment Bill, looking forward to influencing its outcome and ensuring it delivers for the environment. At the same time we recognised its shortcomings and the huge environmental governance gap that it leaves. Other partners in Greener UK produced similar responses. Read our blog on the draft Environment Bill.
We look forward to engaging with the bill as a group as it enters pre-legislative scrutiny by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee. We have submitted evidence to the inquiry.
We’re now asking you to call on your MP to back a strong Environment Bill. It’s a rare opportunity to make lasting change, so get involved and help secure our woodlands’ future now.
The Agriculture Bill was introduced in September 2018. Since then we have worked as part of the Greener UK coalition to influence it on its passage through the House of Commons. The bill has passed its first and second readings and on 20 November 2018, it completed passage through the bill committee. In this scrutiny, many ideas are suggested and voted upon by a small committee of focused MPs.
As part of this influencing work, we have held meetings in Westminster with MPs and farmers to:
- Convince them of the merits of the Greener UK response to the Agriculture Bill
- Highlight our specific policy requests which emphasise tree planting.
With our help, the Government has defended the bill against attempts to water it down. It has also maintained its focus on restoring the farming environment to a more harmonised state so that it can remain productive for generations to come.
The bill has been paused momentarily while we await the announcement of its report stage. After this it will have a third reading and then progress to the House of Lords. We are expecting this shortly so we're already developing strategies for engagement with peers in the House of Lords. This work will provide further strength and regulatory baselines to the bill.