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Scrutiny of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill

Objectives of the consultation

The draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill sets out how the Government will maintain environmental standards as UK leaves the EU, and how they will build on the vision of the 25 Year Environment Plan. This includes creating an independent body - the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) – which will:

  • scrutinise environmental law and the Government’s environmental improvement plan (EIP)
  • investigate complaints on environmental law
  • take enforcement action on environmental law

The draft Bill commits the Government to publishing a policy statement which will set out how ministers should interpret and apply environmental principles, and also to have a plan for environmental improvement. The broader Environment Bill will also include measures on air quality, nature recovery, waste and resource efficiency, and water management.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee launched a joint call for written evidence for pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill.

The Committees welcomed evidence (in no more than 3,000 words) for the draft clauses of the bill, the policy paper, statement of impacts, the memorandum from Defra to the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee and the information paper on the policy statement on Environmental Principles. 

This call for evidence closed on 31 January 2019.

Supporting papers

To download the documents that supported this consultation, please follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE submitted a written evidence to this inquiry, which has been published on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee website

CIBSE welcomed the opportunity to scrutinise the draft Environment Bill and supports a number of elements of the Bill, including: 

  • Creation of an independent body, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), to scrutinise and enforce environmental law, including the possibility of initiating judicial procedures;
  • Requirements for the Secretary of Stage to produce a long-term plan for environmental improvements and to monitor and report on progress against this plan. 

However, CIBSE highlighted a number of important concerns relating to the environmental principles and their status, reach and independence of the OEP, and the climate change enforcement gap.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below: