Thank you for contacting me about the Environment Act.
As set out in the 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, the decision to leave the European Union has created an historic opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced.
I am pleased that the Act will ensure the environment is at the heart of all policy making and that this and future governments are held to account if they fail to uphold their environmental duties. These will include meeting net-zero by 2050, as well as wider long-term legally binding targets on biodiversity, air quality, water, and resource and waste efficiency which will be established under the Act.
The Office for Environmental Protection, a new, world-leading independent regulator, was established in statute to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action when necessary. The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan has also been placed on a statutory footing, and a set of environmental principles will be introduced that will be used to guide future government policy making.
In this plan, the Government has committed to developing a Nature Recovery Network and, in the long term, to create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside the protected site series and a new framework for Local Nature Recovery Strategies, to help support the Nature Recovery Network and better direct investment in the environment and green infrastructure. The Act also requires the preparation and publication of Local Nature Recovery Strategies, mapping nature-rich habitats, so that investment can be targeted where it makes the most difference.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.