Legal news roundup: What will be the long-term impact on the environment as we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown?

Legal news roundup: What will be the long-term impact on the environment as we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown?


As shops and businesses across the retail, travel and hospitality sectors are starting to reopen, both across the UK and globally, the world is starting to adapt to a ‘new normal’ living with coronavirus.

With all the new restrictions in place, businesses have had to rethink strategies, operations and their long-term futures over recent months. Governments all over the world have been helping businesses in different ways; here is a roundup of actions which have had positive or negative environmental consequences, when they were implemented due to the lockdown period, and as a response to the ever-presence of coronavirus in society, going forward.

In the US, coronavirus prompted the Trump administration to introduce temporary measures to boost economic activity which would allow businesses to ‘circumvent environmental reviews’, according to an article by the Financial Times.  In particular, the president wished to ‘speed up construction of highway or pipeline projects’, so that infrastructure projects could be continued without being subject to the usual environmental reviews. Furthermore, the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) loosened fuel economy standards for cars during this time.

These moves, with the aim of keeping businesses afloat during the crisis, are often temporary, however they may have long-term environmental impacts. Meanwhile, the French government offered similar relief to the aerospace industry, in particular, through a £13bn rescue plan that will ‘preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs’, according to an

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About the author:
Violet is an editor at LexisNexis, with previous experience in both the legal sector and in journalism. She graduated in 2019 with an English and French degree, and now commissions case analysis content across 35 practice areas for LexisPSL. She has a particular interest in writing about international trade, and environmental law.