Reports Climate Change and Nature

How should Environmental Principles be applied in policy making?

Read Sustain's response to Defra's Draft Policy Statement on environmental principles - part of the Environment Bill


In summary, Sustain's response is as follows:

  • The Draft Policy Statement lacks clear and strong obligations, with the language failing to put environmental principles at the heart of government decision making. The statement will allow ministers and government departments to ignore environmental principles more easily, and justify environmental damange on short-term economic grounds. 
  • Policymakers can effectively ignore environmental damage oversees, which risks offshoring UK environmental harm.
  • The emphasis on ‘balancing’ environmental principles with economic benefits represents a weakening of the status of environmental principles compared to EU law.
  • Environmental protections must be stronger than they are currently, not weaker, to achieve this government's promise of leaving the environment in a better state than they inherited it.
  • New principles should be added; a ‘net zero emissions’ principle a principle to enhance animal welfare.

How should Environmental Principles be applied in policy making?
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Published Wednesday 2 June 2021

Climate Change and Nature: Sustain has taken a keen interest in the rapidly accumulating evidence about the effect of food and farming on climate change and nature, as scientific evidence emerges that our food system is a very significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.



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