Environmental law podcast - February 2020

Environmental law podcast - February 2020

Welcome to our February 2020 environmental law podcast. In this month's podcast, Christopher Badger and Mark Davies take us on a deep dive on certain key aspects of the Environment Bill (the Bill), which was reintroduced to parliament on 30 January 2020. 

To listen to the podcast, click here.

To start with Mark takes us through the structure of the Bill, highlighting each part of the legislation which the government says forms part of the ‘pitch to be a world leader on the environment as we leave the EU’, with it setting ‘a gold standard for improving air quality, protecting nature, increasing recycling and cutting down on plastic waste’. We hear Chris and Mark's thoughts on how comprehensive they think the Bill really is.

On environmental targets, we hear that the Bill includes long term targets (15 years in the future) for the priority areas of air quality, water, biodiversity, resource efficiency and waste reduction, with details on review and annual reporting. Mark also highlights the power that allows government to revoke or lower these targets and discusses, with Chris, the likelihood of such powers being used to exercise a discretion to license heavily polluting projects on the basis they make economic sense.

In the section on environmental principles, we are reminded of the principles listed in the Bill and the duty on Ministers to 'have due regard' to the policy statement on environmental principles. Chris and Mark take the time to consider what 'have due regard' actually means, how this differs to wording in preceding drafts of the Bill and how it compares with the legal framework under EU law. 

Towards the end of the podcast, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) is covered, looking at how the OEP will work alongside the Committee for Climate Change (CCC), how the OEP will determine when breaches of environmental law are 'serious', and how much work is still to be done before the OEP can become operational on 1 January 2021.

The final part of the podcast covers some of the matters excluded from the Environment Bill, highlights from other parts of the legislation and a final verdict on the Environment Bill as a whole. 

For more information on the Environment Bill, see: 

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About the author:

Simone is an environmental law specialist and is head of LexisPSL Environment.

Simone moved to LexisNexis from Clyde & Co where she trained. Whilst at Clyde & Co Simone gained experience in contentious work, including large scale arbitrations, private claims and regulatory breaches, and a variety of non-contentious issues. Some of her experience includes the EU Emissions Trading System, the domestic Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, environmental due diligence, Energy Performance Certificates, permitting requirements and contaminated land.

Simone has written a number of articles, which have been published in various journals and is a trustee of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA).