Gove: Green watchdog ‘should be able to bite on climate change’

Environment secretary Michael Gove has pledged that the forthcoming Environment Bill will be a 'world first’ in its commitments to legally binding environmental targets, in a speech this morning.

Speaking at Kew Gardens, Gove announced a raft of new measures that will feature in the bill, including the idea that the new green watchdog should be able to “bite on climate change”. 

He said the case for the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP)’s scope to cover climate change was “compelling” and that the model would loosely follow that of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The watchdog will receive upfront, multi-year budgets and to “ensure its teeth are sharpened” it will be independent of ministerial interference, Gove said. While the secretary of state will still make the appointment of the watchdog’s chair, a committee will have the power to veto it if it is not satisfied with the proposed candidate, Gove explained. 

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