By Cal Roscow,
Best for Britain's Director of Development
As the UK prepares to host COP26, the Government should be collaborating with the world to protect the environment. Instead, we are drifting away from the world-leading environmental standards of Europe, and towards a lonely and blighted future.
The Environment Bill was promised to deliver improvements to our countryside, reduce emissions and transition towards a more circular, less wasteful economy.
The reality is a little different.
Government promises are flimsier than the rigorous protections we enjoyed as a member of the EU.
The Environment Bill has been delayed for the third time, and is unlikely to be debated until the autumn, leaving the UK without protection. In comparison, this Government tried to rush the Policing Bill through in one week. Clearly, the Government prioritises protecting themselves from peaceful protestors over protecting the environment.
We always warned Brexit could lead to an erosion of our standards.
Ministers have already amended the Bill to make sure the Office of Environmental Protection, meant to ensure our environmental standards remain high, reports directly to the Government. This watchdog is entirely toothless.
We need strenuous legislation that will commit this Government, and future Governments, to addressing the climate emergency. So far, Britain has matched just two of the EU’s thirteen bans on harmful chemicals. We need measurable targets on air quality, water quality and pollution, and we need an independent, powerful watchdog to hold our leaders to account.
That's why Best for Britain is supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill Alliance.
Drafted by scientists, legal experts, ecological economists and environmentalists, the CEE Bill is designed specifically to reverse the climate and ecological breakdown we face.
The Bill asks the UK to take responsibility for its fair share of greenhouse gas emissions, to actively restore biodiverse habitats in the UK and to stop damage to the environment through the production, transportation and disposal of the goods we consume.
Tabled by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, the Bill now has support of over 100 MPs across 8 political parties, from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You can read more about the Bill here.