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Environmental Implications

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

On 19 December 2019, the Queen’s Speech set out details of the legislation that the government intends to carry over into, or introduce in, this session of Parliament.

As expected, this includes an Environment Bill. The Queen also re-affirmed the commitment under the Climate Change Act 2008 for the UK to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The briefing notes to the speech confirm that:

  • The new Environment Bill will include many of the measures that were in the Environment Bill 2019-20 (introduced in October 2019), including to enshrine environmental principles in law; establish the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP); increase local powers to tackle air pollution; introduce deposit return schemes and charges for specified single use plastic items; extend producer responsibility; require biodiversity net gain from developers; introduce nature recovery strategies; introduce powers for mandatory recall of vehicles in breach of emission standards; and secure long-term, resilient water and wastewater services.
  • The government’s first budget will prioritise the environment.
  • The Agriculture Bill and Fisheries Bill will also be re-introduced.

The government also re-affirmed manifesto commitments on tree planting and increasing offshore wind provision to 40 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. The briefing notes include several other pledges on funding climate change action, including £800 million to build the first fully deployed carbon capture storage (CCS) cluster by the mid-2020s.

A new measure announced in this Queen’s Speech is a ban on the export of plastic waste to countries outside the OECD.

The new Environment Bill has not yet been published.

Tom Warrender


Tom Warrender


Tom is a Solicitor and Partner with 14 years + experience advising clients in relation to commercial property matters. A Legal 500 recognised lawyer, Tom is a member of SHLA and CRELA, sits on our Board of Management & Heads our Social Housing Team.