Derbyshire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Defra Consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance after EU Exit

Defra has launched this consultation on the development of an Environmental Principles and Governance Bill. CPRE Derbyshire thinks it is important that as many people as possible are aware of the implications of environmental issues which will arise once we leave the EU.

We invite all our members to read the Defra consultation document Environmental Principles and Governance after EU Exit and to give your views directly to Defra using the online survey which you will find within this document.

Below are some guidelines which members may wish to make use of when submitting a response. (These are based on suggestions from RSPB and adapted by Anne, an active  member of CPRE Derbyshire.)

These provisions need to be added to the current government proposals:
 
The world-leading green watchdog nature needs to:
 
• Deliver world-leading environmental governance, including the watchdog promised, with powers that are at least as strong, if not stronger than any other environmental watchdog in the world. Any citizen who wants to complain must be able to do so FREE, and must know how and where to complain FREE, not by a costly phone call.
 
• Deliver a watchdog able to investigate
 
1) all breaches of environmental law by any part of government, including reviewing and challenging significant, strategic or nationally important planning (quarrying, or fracking, or open cast mining, or incinerators, or waste tips) and infrastructure decisions,
 
2) robustly enforce the law including through fines and legal action, and
 
3) ensure public bodies act to ensure damage is restored.
 
• Put environmental principles into law, not just policy. These principles should include, at a minimum, those environmental principles found in the EU treaties (for example, that principle that polluters should pay to rectify damage they cause), but the bill should allow for the addition of new principles where appropriate.
 
• Set legal targets and dates for nature’s recovery, against which this and future governments will be held to account, to ensure long-term action that will leave the environment in a better state.
 
Finally, if we are serious about protecting nature that moves across the borders of the UK, we need to take on the challenge of saving nature together. It is essential
 
1) that you work with the devolved nations,
 
2) in a transparent way,
 
3) to co-develop and co-design environmental governance arrangements and secure our existing environmental principles.
 
Nature is vital to both the long-term prosperity of our economy, woods and peat bogs remove carbon dioxide from the air, and help prevent flooding; insects are essential for pollination, fungi recycle essential minerals, bacteria clean the water, and it is medically proven that green spaces help people’s mental health and improve community cohesion.

 

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