Quick Guide to Government Legislation for this Session 13) Environment Bill


The Bills announced in the Queen’s Speech of each session are the centerpiece of the parliamentary year. But they are easily lost sight of, separately and entirely, as the political cycle moves – and a mass of other news and events blows them away.

Then, over the next few months, ConservativeHome will publish a short guide, most Sunday mornings, to every bill in this year’s speech: what is it, if it’s new, its main strengths and weaknesses – and if it is expected sooner or later.

13. Environmental invoice

This Bill in eight parts covers environmental plans and objectives; the Office for the Protection of the Environment and, more generally, the protection of the environment; waste and resource efficiency, air quality, products, water, biodiversity, conservation pacts and chemical regulation.

In addition to Billing and impact assessment documents, separate documents exist on: environmental objectives (two of these); environmental governance (factsheet), air quality (factsheet), water (factsheet), pacts on nature and conservation and an interim secretariat for environmental governance.

Responsible department

The Department of the Environment. So George Eustice, as Secretary of State, is in charge overall, and Lord Goldsmith took the bill through the Lords.

In the municipalities, Eustice opened the debate to the government at second reading and Rebecca Pow, the undersecretary of state, led the commission.

Reported or a new invoice?


When expected?

Neither awaiting introduction, nor currently under review, but awaiting Royal Assent.

Arguments for

This is a mix of a post-Brexit bill, a new measures bill and a reorganization bill – expected, so the government says, to “put the environment at the center of policy making. It will ensure that we have a cleaner, greener and more resilient country for the next generation … the policy document on environmental goals sets out how we will develop our long-term goals within the framework of the environmental law. “

Ministers can say that the second reading of the bill is in Common Other Gentlemen it proved its merits, because on neither of the two occasions nor the Chamber was divided against it. “This still looks like a bill, a bill that doesn’t exist. This is an acceptable bill, but it is by no means the revolutionary legislation that has been promised to us, “Labor spokesman Luke Pollard told Municipalities.

Arguments against

No matter the quality, hear the amendments. Eight the main ones of the government in the Municipalities; Seven in the Lords – and a mass of opponents who were punctually fallen in the field of ping-pong. This mass of changes by the government has effectively admitted the case raised by Pollard at the outset: “not quite there”.

“The government has proposed a number of amendments,” DEFA announced in May. “It has strengthened its commitment to protecting the environment”, declared in August. brought forward changes to help improve and strengthen the environmental bill, “DEFRA proclaimed in October. Their critics would say not that ministers were listening to advice, but that they didn’t know where they were going.


This bill is to be seen alongside Net Zero, COP26, and the three animal-related bills in the Queen’s speech as part of the government’s push to gain more environmental ground with voters, especially younger ones. The give and take in the course of the Law – allowing ministers to introduce charges on all single-use items, not just plastics, for example, it’s all part of this maneuver.

However, large bills like this offer hostages to luck, especially in the age of social media. For example, government opposition to Philip Dunne’s Commons amendment on wastewater has morphed into claims on social media that ministers were deliberately encouraging the pumping of raw wastewater into water. The government he had to back down, file an amendment, and satisfy Dunn.

Vote of the dispute 7/10

The potential benefit is that the ministers’ green message can cut the lobby’s interests and reach voters directly. The downside is that the advertising damage caused by a mistake, such as that related to wastewater, can outweigh the advertising gain. And the measures themselves? The good in them must be exchanged for any negative effects on consumers and producers – and the law of unexpected consequences.


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