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Gove publishes draft green governance bill

Environmental protection

The environment secretary Michael Gove has published draft clauses for the first environmental bill for 20 years.  

The bill, first announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in July, delineates the steps to put environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government.

Gove said: ”We have published our draft clauses for the environment bill which place our environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government.

“They set out how we will create a pioneering new system of green governance, placing our 25-year environment plan on a statutory footing. We will explore options for strong targets to improve our environment, and provisions on air quality, waste and water resource management, and restoring nature.”

A new framework for environmental governance will be created, demonstrating the government's commitment to maintaining environmental protection as the UK leaves the EU.

A new independent statutory body will provide independent scrutiny and advice, and hold government to account on development and implementation of environmental law and policy, according to a government statement.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consultation for this draft legislation received 176,746 responses.

Additionally, the government published a policy paper alongside the draft clauses highlighting the vision for the UK environment when the the nation leaves the EU. These clauses will form part of a broader environmental bill that will be introduced early in the second session of Parliament to address the biggest environmental issues.

The core elements and documents published in the draft clauses can be viewed here. Further details on all policy areas will be published by the government in due course.

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