Sunrise over heathland at RSPB Arne reserve.

We had an amazing response to our call for action on the Environment Bill.

Nearly 9,000 of you emailed your MP and asked them to make sure the Environment Bill delivers for nature. Thank You!

RSPB Campaigner Ruth Lindley gives us an update below, on where things are now at with this hugely important Bill.

A quick update on the Bill

Second Reading

During second reading, some of our asks were brought up by MPs. We're happy with the number of times the need for a truly independent watchdog which will hold government to account was discussed. Ensuring the new laws created by the bill do not reverse our current environmental standards was also discussed a good amount of times, albeit less than the need for a watchdog.

What was also good was the critique that the Bill in its current form does not go far enough, a belief shared by us and you.

However, the need for targets for nature's recovery was disappointingly absent from the discussions. This vital part of the bill could be transformative. It will change the conversation from working to halt nature’s decline to facilitating its recovery and hold future governments to account.

Now

The Bill has now entered Committee stage and our policy and advocacy colleagues are working hard to get our amendments tabled.

For now we’re not asking you to take any action, you can take a breather. But keep your eyes peeled in April because, as the bill progresses through committee stage into report stage, and then onto the House of Lords, we will once again be asking you to raise your voice to ensure the bill delivers the meaningful change we and nature need. 

If you’re not familiar with the process by which a bill becomes law, Parliament’s website has a great explanatory page which goes through the different stages simply. You can find it here

A jay on the ground near a fallen log, amongst a carpet of bluebells.

What the Bill needs to deliver for nature

Below is a reminder of the key areas which need to be strengthened to make sure the bill works to help nature recover:

  • The bill must at least ensure future laws and policies do not lower existing levels of environmental protection.
  • The bill must ensure that future governments are legally compelled to take actions needed to help meet long term targets (of at least 15 years) for the recovery of nature and the environment.
  • We need a truly independent watchdog (Office for Environmental Protection) that will hold government and public bodies to account and ensure they are meeting their environmental commitments.
  • The vital environmental principles, for example polluters paying for the damage they cause, are at serious risk of being legally downgraded.
  • Major and large scale infrastructure projects are excluded from the section which requires future developments to deliver for nature. What’s more, the land that is used to improve nature is at risk of being ripped up after 30 years.


Once again thank you for all your support, you play a vital role in fighting to protect our natural world.

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