Environmental Politics

‘Coal, cars, cash and trees’: What to expect at COP26

‘Coal, cars, cash and trees’: What to expect at COP26

The Glasgow climate talks, which begin in just over a month, will seek new commitments to cut methane emissions, dump coal power and finalise rules on global emissions trading. Here’s what you need to know... Read more

Latest Analysis

Land, Ecology & Development

The ENDS briefing: biodiversity net gain

The ENDS briefing: biodiversity net gain

The Environment Bill’s flagship biodiversity net gain measure is intended to deliver more development - and more nature. Here’s everything you need to know about the duties the bill will place on developers and decision-makers, the market the mechanism will create and practical lessons from where net gain has already been implemented

Regulation

Why Environment Agency staff feel underpaid and undervalued

Why Environment Agency staff feel underpaid and undervalued

Dwindling budgets and paltry pay offers are adding to the ‘deeper problems’ that are undermining work at the agency, finds David Burrows

Environmental Politics

Can Gove meet the UK’s housing needs without trashing nature?

Can Gove meet the UK’s housing needs without trashing nature?

Michael Gove was handed the housing portfolio in the prime minister’s Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, but how will the former environment secretary deal with net gain, EIA reform, underfunded councils and a large scale overhaul of the planning system? Michael Donnelly reports

Recycling

Is recycling creating a toxic chemical problem?

Is recycling creating a toxic chemical problem?

Could harmful chemicals concentrating in recycled food packaging, toys and textiles derail progress on the circular economy? And will the plastics tax make things worse? David Burrows reports

Environmental Law

What the Walleys Quarry ruling tells us about the growing role of science in environmental law

What the Walleys Quarry ruling tells us about the growing role of science in environmental law

A ruling that set a landfill gas emissions limit for the Environment Agency to enforce to protect the health of a vulnerable child shows the approach courts are taking in the face of scientific uncertainty, particularly where there is a lack of consensus on safe chemical limits

Planning & land use

Why many councils feel unable to roll out net gain

Why many councils feel unable to roll out net gain

It is unlikely that all councils will be ready to implement net gain by the 2023 deadline, with experts saying they do not have the resources or expertise to make it work, reports James Fair

Nutrient neutrality logjam: Why a ministerial 'Dyno-Rod' has yet to clear the blockage

Nutrient neutrality logjam: Why a ministerial 'Dyno-Rod' has yet to clear the blockage

Despite the prime minister’s promise to clear a blockage on development created by Natural England guidance on nutrient neutrality, planning applications containing thousands of homes remain in limbo across England and Wales. Do innovative mitigation solutions provide a light at the end of the tunnel?

Soil pollution

Why ‘everyone is blaming everyone else’ for plastic-contaminated soils

Why ‘everyone is blaming everyone else’ for plastic-contaminated soils

Hundreds of tonnes of plastic fragments are spread to land every year in England, contaminating soils used to produce food. But fixing the problem appears to be fiendishly difficult, finds David Burrows

Legislation

Will the new and improved Environment Bill survive the Commons?

Will the new and improved Environment Bill survive the Commons?

The Environment Bill could be significantly strengthened by changes proposed by the House of Lords, but how many amendments will make it onto the final act? James Fair reports

Environmental Politics

Who are the Tory backbenchers challenging net zero and what do they want?

Who are the Tory backbenchers challenging net zero and what do they want?

A group of Tory backbench MPs is seeking to challenge the Westminster ‘consensus’ on greenhouse gas emissions. What does the new group mean for the government’s net zero ambitions, asks David Burrows

Environmental Law

Environment Bill: 8 government amendments you need to know about

Environment Bill: 8 government amendments you need to know about

As the landmark Environment Bill nears the end of its passage through parliament the government has tabled yet another set of significant amendments, including on the bill’s species abundance target, sewage discharge measures and the post-Brexit green watchdog. Here’s what you need to know

Waste

‘A high stakes guessing game’: Why the recycling industry is mad about Biffa’s record fine

‘A high stakes guessing game’: Why the recycling industry is mad about Biffa’s record fine

Two successful prosecutions by the Environment Agency against waste giant Biffa have led to a backlash from the waste industry, with calls for clearer rules on contamination levels but is the regulator listening? Conor McGlone investigates

Biodiversity / conservation

Metric 3.0: Why DEFRA is taking flak over the latest version of its biodiversity tool

Metric 3.0: Why DEFRA is taking flak over the latest version of its biodiversity tool

The publication of the latest biodiversity metric was seen by policymakers as a milestone moment, but it soon came in for severe criticism, with one expert describing it as ‘the single most dangerous thing to be done by a statutory agency I’ve seen in all my 40 years working in nature conservation’. James Fair investigates

Brexit Hub Environmental Law

Rewriting the rulebook: How government plans to diverge from EU green standards could affect business

Rewriting the rulebook: How government plans to diverge from EU green standards could affect business

Industry professionals tell ENDS where the UK government is likely to start charting a new course on environmental rules and what could hold it back

Latest news

Nuclear power

Ministers backing plans for new nuclear plant, say reports

Ministers are backing plans for a new large-scale nuclear power plant in Wales to ease pressure on electricity supplies on the path to net zero, according to reports

Water quality

England ‘losing the war’ to protect its rivers, say campaigners

Stronger regulation, higher levels of enforcement and strategic impact assessment is needed if the dire health of England’s rivers is to be turned around, according to campaign group the Rivers Trust

Waste water & sewage

‘Lowering standards by the back door’: Campaigners begin legal action over EA discharge permits relaxation

Campaign group Fish Legal has begun legal action against the Environment Agency over its recent decision, blamed on Brexit and covid-related supply chain disruptions, to relax the rules governing discharges from wastewater treatment plants

Climate change

Majority of UK economic sectors increasing their emissions, report finds

Just five sectors within the UK economy are in the process of reducing their carbon emissions, while the majority are increasing theirs, underlining the need to meet net zero targets with ‘far greater urgency’, a report has concluded

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Editor’s pick

Policy

Environment Bill briefing

Environment Bill briefing

Due to return in the next parliamentary session after its latest delay, it seems the Environment Bill will finally receive royal assent in the autumn. Since the bill was introduced, however, numerous amendments have been made and there remain a great many question marks surrounding key targets and the timetable for implementation, among other issues. Here's what you need to know

Water quality

MAPPED: England's healthiest – and most polluted – rivers

The proportion of England’s rivers in good ecological health has plateaued at 14%, according to official classifications published last week, while the status of more than 100 has been rated as ‘bad’. Use ENDS’ map to view the locations of these water bodies

Chemical risks and hazards

A poisonous legacy: PCBs and the killer whale apocalypse

A group of banned toxic chemicals made decades ago are today harming orcas, porpoises and kestrels. Rachel Salvidge investigates an industrial legacy that refuses to die

Fines Monitor Civil sanctions

UPDATED: The ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database

UPDATED: Details of nearly 30 new enforcement undertakings with a value of more than £1.4m have been added to the ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database, as the use of the civil sanction as a tool to deal with environmental offences continues to grow. Click through for the full list, compiled by ENDS

Data & insight

Odour

MAPPED: The areas around a notorious landfill that have recorded the highest hydrogen sulphide levels

MAPPED: The areas around a notorious landfill that have recorded the highest hydrogen sulphide levels

Click through to view an interactive map with details of hydrogen sulphide readings at monitoring stations installed around the Walleys Quarry landfill in Staffordshire

Enforcement

Infographic: Focus on enforcement undertakings

Infographic: Focus on enforcement undertakings

More than £20m has been paid out to good causes since enforcement undertakings were introduced as a tool to tackle environmental offences in England more than 10 years ago, an analysis of Environment Agency data reveals.

Industrial emissions

Infographic: Focus on the UK's biggest polluters

Infographic: Focus on the UK's biggest polluters

Pollutant releases to air in the UK in 2019 were up slightly compared with the previous year, but have almost halved over the past decade, according to data contained in DEFRA’s UK Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

Case studies

Land, Ecology & Development

Cleve Hill Solar Park: The major infrastructure project that aims to deliver 65% net gain

Cleve Hill Solar Park: The major infrastructure project that aims to deliver 65% net gain

Building the UK's largest ever solar park on an arable field was always going to raise environmental concerns, but with advice from nature groups, biodiversity experts and regulators this 350-megawatt project will also restore habitat to this former marshland and power up to 90,000 homes

Land, Ecology & Development

Inside the Warwickshire estate where net gain credits are already being spent

How one 'traditional country estate' is receiving an income by enhancing floral diversity on part of the land and selling the biodiversity net gain to housebuilders

Land, Ecology & Development

Kingsbrook, Aylesbury Vale: The net gain trailblazer bidding to set a new standard for nature-friendly housing development

Tasked by the local authority with protecting wildlife and the environment associated with the building of 2,450 homes, one developer worked with partners to enhance biodiversity within the estate's boundary

Agriculture & forestry

The debrief: How a Norfolk estate is forging a new path combining agriculture, tourism and environmental gains

With uncertainty around post-Brexit subsidies, and the rising environmental agenda, agriculture in the UK is in a period of flux. However, new business models, such as one at the Wild Ken Hill project in north Norfolk, are emerging

Regulation

The debrief: How a groundbreaking carbon capture and use scheme secured its environmental permit

When an international chemicals firm wanted to develop the UK’s first large-scale scheme to capture carbon emissions and use them in a range of applications, it also found itself blazing a path through a complex permitting process

Interviews

Global negotiations

Interview: What’s next in the global fight against chemicals and waste pollution

Interview: What’s next in the global fight against chemicals and waste pollution

Dr Rolph Payet, executive secretary for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, speaks to ENDS about the impact of the covid crisis on international cooperation, the threat of ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS, and the prospect of a new treaty on plastic waste

Environmental Law

Interview: Rebecca Pow on the latest amendments to the Environment Bill

Interview: Rebecca Pow on the latest amendments to the Environment Bill

As the government's flagship green legislation nears royal assent, environment minister Rebecca Pow speaks to ENDS about controversial plans to refocus the Habitats Regulations and measures in the bill to tackle sewage discharges from storm overflows

Chemical risks and hazards

Interview: Professor Shanna Swan on why man-made chemicals threaten the future of the human race

Interview: Professor Shanna Swan on why man-made chemicals threaten the future of the human race

Professor Shanna Swan made international headlines by linking chemicals in plastics and pesticides to tumbling fertility rates, arguing that everyday chemicals are imperiling the future of the human race. She talks to ENDS about her incredible journey of discovery and why she’s worried about what paracetamol might be doing to unborn babies

Environmental Law

Interview: What Erin Brockovich thinks about cover-ups, gaslighting and 'ass-backwards regulation'

Interview: What Erin Brockovich thinks about cover-ups, gaslighting and 'ass-backwards regulation'

It’s been more than two decades since Erin Brockovich proved PG&E was poisoning a Californian town and she’s been holding polluters across the world to account ever since

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From ENDS Waste & Bioenergy

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Reporting to the Site Environmental Manager, you will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the landfill permit overseeing waste management activities onsite and ensuring compliance with environmental legislative requirements and environmental Management Systems

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Sustainable Management Advisor - Natura 2000

Natural resources in Wales are fantastic; rugged mountains and woodlands, beautiful landscapes and coastlines, and amazing wildlife. They are vital for our survival and provide us with the basic things we need to live: clean air, clean water, and food. They create jobs for thousands of people like...

Hydrometry & Telemetry Officer

Work as part of a team to support and assist in the delivery of integrated Hydrometry & Telemetry (H&T) services in Operations, maintaining the quality of NRW’s hydrometric data by applying appropriate measurement solutions and ensuring the Hydrometric network is operational.

Environmental Protection Officer

As a passionate environmentalist you can make a positive impact across our district. The position will lead the Council’s ISO14001 activities, ensure compliance with environmental permits issued to our local businesses, respond to planning applications and play a part in our carbon reduction plans.

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