Government committment to Paris Agreement confirmed.

Speaking to members of the International Energy Agency in Paris today, Baroness Neville-Rolfe – Energy Minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – has confirmed the UK Government’s commitment to meeting the requirements of the Paris Agreement, whilst acknowledging that more needs to be done in order to achieve this. Baroness Neville-Rolfe also drew attention to the efforts already made in the UK to improve energy efficiency from changes to the building regulations to support for households … Continued

The Great Repeal Bill – clarity at last?

Following recent speeches confirming that “brexit means brexit” and that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017, David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) told the House of Commons on Monday that a new bill – the Great Repeal Bill – will be put before the House “in the next Parliamentary session”. The Bill – if passed –  will take effect on the day that we leave the EU and will ensure that … Continued

ClientEarth report – Climate Change Act “dangerously neglected”

A new ClientEarth report states that “the Climate Change Act…has in practice been dangerously neglected”, raising concerns over the UK”s ability to meet the reductions set out in the four carbon budgets to 2025. The 55 page report acknowledges both the significance of the Act and the political committment to it, but sets out clear evidence of the gap between vision and reality and calls for the publication of a “new Emissions Reduction Plan by the end of 2016”. The … Continued

Waste panel service suspended for a month

The Environment Agency updated it’s IsitWaste tool page yesterday, announcing the temporary (3 month) suspension of the Definition of Waste panel. The service will be reviewed in November 2016, according to the webpage. The definition of waste is one of the most hotly contested areas of waste management, and has been since the first definition was included in Directive 75/442/EEC – the first Waste Framework Directive. It defined waste as “…any substance or object which the holder disposes of or is … Continued

EU Parliament approves ‘fast track’ Paris Agreement ratification

The European Parliament (EP) today approved ‘fast-track’ ratification of the Paris Agreement, allowing the Council of Ministers, meeting tomorrow, to adopt the ground-breaking climate control agreement for the EU. The Paris Agreement support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is the first legally-binding, universal deal aimed at controlling the global climate. The Agreement, reached at the culmination of meetings in Paris during December 2015, requires ratification by at least 55 parties, responsible for 55% of global emissions … Continued

House of Commons Replies to the Environmental Audit Committee

Further to the publication in April this year of the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on the EU and UK Environmental Policy, the Government have now published their response to coincide with the appearance of Therese Coffey (Resource Minister) and Robin Walker (Minister with the Department for Exiting the EU) before the same committee in session. The government response is, understandably at this relatively early stage, fairly short, just ten points over two pages and, accordingly, lacking in depth. It does, … Continued

UK Environmental Protection Bill

Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West and Member of the Environmental Audit Committee,. yesterday presented a private members bill to the House of Commons. Because this is a first reading, there is not text available yet, but the Parliament website states that the bill (UK Environmental Protection (Maintenance of EU Standards) Bill 2016-17) aims to make provision for ensuring that UK environmental protection legislation, based on EU texts, is safeguarded once the UK exits the EU. This provision is vitally … Continued

Circular Economy Factsheets published

The European Environmental Bureau – a pan-Europe group of organisations acting as the ‘voice’ of the public on environmental matters – has published circular economy factsheets aimed at helping policy makers and producers think about the steps needed to move us towards a circular economy. What is a Circular Economy? A circular economy makes best use of resources to help achieve sustainable development – development that encourages growth for the current generation without negatively impacting on the ability of future … Continued

Does ‘Brexit’ predict environmental disaster for the UK?

On 23rd June, a referendum to determine the will of the UK population (including Gibraltar) with regards to remaining a Member State of the European Union will be held. At the time of writing, the possibility of a so-called ‘Brexit’ (the UK leaving the EU) is very real. The NatCen Social Research ‘poll of polls’ showed a fairly even split amongst the general population across the country. Amongst environmental professionals, figures are less evenly split with the latest results of … Continued

ESOS compliance still under par

The ‘ultimate deadline’ for notifying ESOS compliance passed on Friday and reports suggest that one third of eligible businesses have not registered and thus face enforcement action. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme was introduced by Statutory Instrument 2014/1643 – The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 – and came into force in July 2014. At the time, it was estimated that around 10,000 UK businesses would need to comply with requirements to analyse their energy use and identify savings opportunities. … Continued