Sue will today accuse the Conservative government of ducking its environmental responsibilities by ensuring that any legally binding targets in the new Environment Bill will not have bite for nearly two decades.
Speaking ahead of today’s second reading debate on the Environment Bill, Sue said:
“Boris Johnson is threatening our environment will reckless new trade agreements that would undercut Britain’s environmental standards.
“Comprehensive legal environment targets and steps towards a circular economy are welcome, but Labour will be fighting for the Bill to be amended to ensure that the UK won’t fall behind the EU on environmental standards after Brexit, and that the proposed Office for Environmental Protection is fully independent and resourced.
“The government is ducking its responsibilities by ensuring that any legally binding targets will not have bite for nearly two decades. Labour will strengthen the Environment Bill to close this loophole and to ensure all targets are legally binding and cannot be kicked into the long grass.
“Environmental principles are already enshrined in EU law, but this government refuses to commit to stick to them post-Brexit.”
The debate on the Environment Bill comes six months after a Labour motion, put forward by Sue Hayman MP, forced the Government on 1st May to agree to the UK Parliament to becoming the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.
“The agreed motion set the Government six months to put together an urgent, costed plan to restore the UK’s natural environment and to deliver a circular, zero waste economy. That deadline is up on 1st November, but there is little evidence from this Bill of urgent action.
“Labour would turn around this Government’s reckless and ruinous approach to our natural world. We have set out our priorities and principles for environmental action – preventing and adapting to climate change, achieving high air and water quality for all, reversing the decline of biodiversity, and protecting natural habitats.”